15 Dec 2023 16:16

An important achievement for Russia at COP28 is recognition of gas as "transitional" fuel - Torosov

MOSCOW. Dec 15 (Interfax) - The Russian side considers the final document of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), called the UAE Consensus, to be balanced, Russian First Deputy Minister of Economic Development Ilya Torosov told reporters.

"We consider the COP28 outcome as positive; our main task was to prevent [official documentation supporting] the abandonment of fossil fuels and to clarify the importance of both forestry projects and nuclear energy in the final documents. We achieved this and, as a result, are satisfied with the document, which we agreed to," he said.

The Deputy Minister noted the importance of the official recognition of gas as a "transitional" fuel: "An important achievement for Russia at COP28 is the recognition of the role of a transitional fuel, namely gas, for reducing emissions while ensuring energy security. This is the first time that provisions of this kind have been included in these decisions. We believe that this will give us a positive shift from chasing ambitious goals to the realistic implementation of commitments. This is an important and fair solution for developing countries that do not have access to expensive carbon-free technologies."

This provision is enshrined in paragraph 29 of the final COP28 document: "(Participants in the Paris Agreement) recognize that transitional fuels can play a role in facilitating energy transition while ensuring energy security."

Torosov emphasized that the countries of the collective West "pushed through tough language," insisting on the complete abandonment of fossil fuels.

"The Russian side managed to defend a fair formulation, in our opinion, and as a result, the decision contained a comfortable formulation for us about the transition from fossil fuels," he added.

Among other important aspects for Russia which were recorded in the final COP28 document were the recognition of the importance of nuclear generation, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies: "We consider this to be an official consolidation of the principle of technical neutrality at the Paris Agreement site," the Deputy Minister said.