31 Aug 2022 13:44

G20 ministers disagree fundamentally in understanding climate change issues, means to resolve them - Economic Development Ministry

MOSCOW. Sept 1 (Interfax) - The G20 Environment Ministers' Meeting held in Indonesia on Wednesday has ended with a non-consensual statement; and the discussions have demonstrated the "fundamental differences" in the countries' respective understanding and approaches to the issues of climate change, as well as in seeking the means to resolve the issues, Russia's Economic Development Ministry said in a statement, citing Deputy Economic Development Minister Vladimir Ilyichev, who headed the country's delegation.

Ilyichev said that, "Western countries, led by the United States and the European Union, have preferred to divert attention from the real problems, and to block adopting the final document with unfounded political accusations against Russia."

The Economic Development Ministry believes that, "the United States and Europe are in reality jeopardizing the achievement of not only the ambitious goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, but even 2 degrees."

"In pursuing high-profile statements about the early achievement of carbon neutrality, calling on everyone to increase ambitions in the fight against climate change, Western countries simultaneously refuse to discuss the issues of developing countries having equal access to climate finance and technology. Developed countries in practice block agreements that would allow developing countries to take specific steps to implement the decisions. The current actions of developed countries cast doubt on the fundamental principles of the sustainable development of the United Nations," Ilyichev said when commenting on the results of the ministerial meeting.

The ministry also said that the "unreasonably forced energy transition in European countries has already led to dire consequences for the populations of many European countries."

"Russia, together with China, India and Saudi Arabia, consistently advocated for the unacceptability of unilateral restrictive measures," Ilyichev said.

He said "it is sanctions that have become a real threat to the climate and the environment, a trigger of other global problems, pushing the solution to this problem back by years."

"Sanctions are already jeopardizing the achievement of stated goals for managing risks and adaptation in this vital decade for decisive climate action," the ministry said.

"The place of Russian gas is being taken by coal from reopened mines, which will do irreparable harm to the climate. The sharp rise of prices for energy resources is having a negative impact on the most vulnerable people throughout the world. Greenhouse gas emissions from transport are increasing due to the disruption of supply chains. The commissioning of previously closed coal power plants now can do harm to the climate that will already be impossible to offset with emission reductions in the second half of the decade," the ministry said.

"Instead of implementing the promise to allocate $100 billion for climate aid through joint efforts, some developed countries prefer to finance armed conflicts. As a result, today at the ministers' meeting, unable to agree on a whole range of fundamental, substantive issues of cooperation, western countries led by the United States and European Union preferred to deflect attention away from real problems and block the adoption of a final document with political, unfounded accusations against Russia," Ilyichev said.

"For the Russian Federation it is unacceptable to adopt a document that contains politicized statements that distort reality and hinder the achievement of climate goals," he said.