Russia has Provided Small Scale Support to Former CIS Countries

Spotlight Activity: Russia has Provided Small Scale Support to Former CIS Countries

The Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), endorsed by all countries at the end of 2015, is a set of principles for long-term international cooperation. The agreement does not imply that countries accept individual international obligations: neither on greenhouse gas emissions nor on providing financial assistance to the weakest and most vulnerable countries. Instead, they should themselves establish and periodically review relevant national decisions on climate change. 176 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement, only two states – the United States and Turkey – spoke out against this agreement for financial reasons.

Large problems, related to implementing the Paris Agreement, have been caused by the need for financial support from developed countries to reduce emissions and support adaptation in the weakest and most vulnerable countries. The Paris Agreement set up a mechanism to facilitate this transfer of funds known as the Green Climate Fund. The Green Climate fund seeks to raise 100 billion dollars a year starting in 2020. However, as of now only 10 billion has been pledged.

Russia, in accordance with the UN’s climate convention, is a country with transition economy, therefore, it is not obligated to pay to the Green Climate Fund. However, on a voluntary basis, Russia allocated $10 million for climate projects in less developed countries.

These funds will be targeted to CIS states: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. In 2017, Russia invested $1.23 billion in Kazakhstan. But it is unclear how much of this amount was spent on the implementation of climate projects.

Russia’s $10 million donor support contribution was made through the Russia-UNDP Trust Fund. In addition, Russia made a $5 million contribution to the Green Climate Fund. These funds are small relative to all official development assistance provided by Russia (in 2014 – $ 875 million), and it is likely that Russia’s contributions will grow. However, much larger contributions can be expected in the form of climate investments by Russian companies in countries where Russia seeks to maintain and increase its presence.

Status: Right Direction

Russian government investments to date, though relatively small, suggest that Russia has the potential to support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in less developed countries. We also expect that Russian companies will make climate changes investments in countries where Russia has interests.

Take Action

We appeal to all climate investment funds in Russia and ask them to describe in more details their activities on investments in environmental projects of foreign countries, especially the CIS countries. Russia has great financial potential and has the opportunity to invest not only in domestic energy projects, but also to assist in their implementation abroad. But it is very important to organize the mechanism of this work in such a way that it is clear on which projects, in what country and for what purposes are investments from Russian funds. Moreover, it is mandatory to widely publicize the successful results of projects implemented with the financial support of Russia.

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Action Alert

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