RUSSIA - G20 GLOBAL TWENTY

 

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ONE WORLD ONE OCEAN - In the role of guardians of your geographical regions, there is also a responsibility to develop the blue economy for the international circular economies that a sustainable society requires if we are not to burn planet earth out.

 

 

Russia is one of the top twenty countries of the world that could benefit from looking at ways of reducing climate change in the interests of slowing global warming, our melting ice caps, sea level rise and ocean acidity.

 

Unfortunately, Russia is living in climate change denial, making them climate criminals along with the United States of  America and President Donald Trump. Why? Could it be that global warming helps this country to profit from barren regions that are becoming fertile with the weather shift. Not only that but they have fossil fuels to spare and would suffer economically if they were to change. It is easy to see why they might want to ignore the suffering elsewhere and the acid oceans they are helping to create. They may change their tune when the food starts to run out and nobody wants their oil or gas.

 

We share one ocean and one planet. We may care to think otherwise, but in the greatest technical challenge we have yet faced as brothers and sisters of planet earth there are no borders. What neighbor countries trash today is your pollution problem tomorrow, and what we fail to clean up today as responsible parents is our children's legacy for generations to come.

 

The unique quality of humans is our ability to reason and be reasonable. Provided that the main industrial players in the world accept that greenhouse gases and plastic production and usage is linked to Gross Domestic Product in proportion to wealth creation, it is reasonable to expect that those with most to gain from climate research might want to contribute what they can afford to building a sustainable economy free of CO2 that is altering ocean chemistry to the detriment of declining fish stocks.

 

 

 

 

THE DIPLOMAT FEBRUARY 2016

The historic climate change mitigation agreement reached in Paris by 195 countries on December 12, 2015 was made possible by the willingness of formerly recalcitrant actors like China, India and the United States to agree to multilateral, binding emissions targets. To a casual observer, Russia might appear to be a member of this group of reformed skeptics. Moscow submitted an official climate action plan to the UN on May 31, 2015, well in advance of the Paris Conference, surprising observers (including the U.S. State Department’s lead climate negotiator, Todd Stern) who were mindful of Russia’s historically skeptical attitude regarding the necessity of international action on climate change. Russian President Vladimir Putin followed up the submission with a forceful speech at the Paris conference, declaring, “The quality of life of all people on this planet depends on… our ability to resolve the problem of climate.”

However, this seemingly activist posture (likely designed to prevent further international isolation after Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Syria have drawn Western sanctions and widespread condemnation) masks the reality that there has been no substantive change in Russia’s attitude toward climate change or willingness to act decisively to address the issue. While the climate action plan appeared to be a positive development, analysts quickly pointed out that Russia’s submission, which calls for a 30 percent emissions reduction below 1990-levels, could actually allow Russia to increase its emissions, which are currently 35 percent below 1990-levels (due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the breakdown of its carbon-intensive economy). Climate activists also called on Moscow to clarify how Russia plans to use its vast forests, which act as a “carbon sink,” in its overall emissions accounting. These activists have pointed out that under an emissions accounting scheme that relies heavily on the “carbon sink” effect of Russian forests, the country would have to actually reduce its carbon emissions by even less than the nominal targets outlined in the plan. Russian officials have indicated that they intend to rely heavily on the “carbon sink” effect on Russian forests in order to reach the targets in the plan, meaning that the practical effect of the plan is essentially negligible.

Accordingly, rhetorical shifts notwithstanding, there appears to have been no significant change in Moscow’s attitude toward climate change. While Putin has recently paid lip service to the pressing urgency of action, Russia’s climate action plan is indicative of continued official insouciance about climate change. At a time when most of the international community is increasingly unified around the necessity of action to mitigate the worst effects of global warming, Russia remains an outlying skeptic.

WHY SO SKEPTICAL

Moscow’s reluctance to join the increasingly unified international community in agreeing on meaningful emission reduction targets is attributable to several factors. The official Russian posture of skepticism toward the science underlying fears of climate change is largely due the country’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels. According to the prominent Russian ecologist Alexey Yablokov, “We only think about drilling for more and more oil and selling it to the West.” Putin himself has acknowledged apparent changes in the Earth’s climate, but has dismissed the notion that human activity was to blame and characterized the notion of anthropogenic global warming as a “fraud.” Russian reluctance to see the world phase out fossil fuel-based energy likely explains Putin’s skepticism and “devil may care” attitude toward climate change (he once scoffed that Russians would have to spend less on fur coats in the future due to global warming). Moscow’s officially skeptical position mirrors that of other oil-reliant economies, including the states of the Persian Gulf, and has been dutifully adopted by the Russian media.

Beyond Russia’s wariness of any international action that might limit demand for fossil fuels, however, the Kremlin also appears to see potential benefits arising from climate change. According to some projections, countries far north of the Equator, like Canada and Russia, could benefit from warming temperatures, as enormous swathes of perpetually frozen, barren territory are transformed into arable land and the extraction of mineral resources farther north of the Arctic Circle becomes possible. Russia has aggressively staked its claims in the Arctic territory in anticipation of further melting. Putin has also repeatedly alluded to projections that Russian agriculture could benefit from climate change, remarking in 2003, “Agricultural specialists say our grain production will increase, and thank God for that.” This prediction is cited often by Russian officials seeking to downplay the potentially negative effects of climate change.

However, this limited and optimistic view appears misguided. It is increasingly clear that climate change is likely to adversely affect Russia in several ways, from severe weather events to territorial loss to growing instability on the country’s southern periphery and in its major cities.

 

 

 

iNEWS APRIL 2017 - Vladimir Putin has defended climate change deniers and hailed the economic potential of the melting Arctic.

“Climate change brings in more favorable conditions and improves the economic potential of this region,” he said, referring to Russia’s push for oil and mineral extraction as well as possible new northern shipping lanes as the ice recedes.

“Today, Russia’s GDP is the result of the economic activity of this region.”
‘It will continue anyway’

In a television interview at the International Arctic Forum, held in frosty Arkhangelsk in the north-west of the country, Mr Putin also defended the appointment of a global warming sceptic to the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States.

He said that people like Scott Pruitt, the agency’s new head, “may not be at all silly” because, ultimately, “global warming will continue anyway, anyhow”, sounding a note of scepticism about whether emissions targets or scientific advances could help stop the planet heating up.

“It isn’t about preventing global warming. I agree with those people who believe it is impossible,” he said.

“It may be related to some global cycles or some greater outer space cycles. It’s about how to adjust ourselves to it. The local communities will get adjusted,”

Russia is well positioned to exploit new opportunities after the ice cap recedes, with a vast Arctic coastline and millions of square kilometres of frozen land which could provide new or easier economic prospects if they thaw.
Claiming the Arctic

In 2007, Russian scientists planted a Russian flag on the sea floor at the North Pole in a sign of the country’s expansive view of the north of the globe.

The country has been ramping up oil and gas extraction already, and also has high hopes for the Northern Sea Route, which could provide quicker shipping from Europe to eastern Asia and the west coast of America than current options.

But the thaw is not without its problems. Methane lakes and bubbles have popped up in melted tundra in the north of the country, while formerly frozen reindeer corpses released a form of dangerous anthrax last year.

 

 

MIXED EFFECTS ON AGRICULTURE

 

Notwithstanding the predictions of Putin’s “agricultural specialists,” it is far from clear that the effect of climate change on Russian farmers will be unambiguously positive. While historically non-arable regions in Siberia could indeed see their agricultural productivity increase, regions in the south and west of Russia that are currently arable are likely to be increasingly affected by drought, wildfire, and changing irrigation patterns, a process that is already under way.

Analysts have suggested that the melting of permafrost in Russia’s far north could alter river flow patterns sufficiently to create water shortages in Stavropol and Krasnodar, historically the country’s most productive agricultural regions. Consequently, while Siberia becomes newly fertile, the country’s traditional breadbasket in the Volga River basin could become arid. Additionally, the rising incidence of drought and wildfire associated with climate change could be devastating for agricultural production in western Russia. In 2010, unprecedented summer heat caused massive wildfires that dramatically reduced agricultural output in western Russia, destroying one third of the country’s wheat harvest (the resulting export ban on wheat may have helped touch off the Arab Spring by raising food prices). The country experienced another major heat wave with a devastating impact on agricultural output in the summer of 2012, suggesting that this pattern is likely to continue and intensify as global temperatures rise. Accordingly, any gains in agricultural productivity farther north could be offset by drought and wildfire in southern and western Russia and by the effect of melting permafrost on the country’s irrigation patterns, confounding any hopes of increased grain production.

Second, Russia’s proximity to the Arctic Circle and long northern coastline make the country unusually vulnerable to rising sea levels and consequent erosion. As the permafrost in northern Russia retreats and sea levels rise, the country is reportedly losing 468 square kilometers to erosion every year. This trend, worrying in its own right, is likely to accelerate as global temperatures continue to rise. Scientists have further cautioned that the effect of climate change on the permafrost in Russia’s northern territories could have devastating effects on regional ecological systems (including wildlife) and on crucial infrastructure, including roads, rail lines, and oil and gas pipelines. The potential harm resulting from melting permafrost in northern Russia has been vividly illustrated by the sudden appearance of massive, unexplained craters in Siberia; scientists have concluded that these craters formed as a result of subterranean permafrost melt and the consequent collapse of underground geological formations.

 

A SOUTHERN ARC OF INSTABILITY

 

Finally, Russia will be no less affected than any other country by adverse climate-related developments beyond its borders. Changes in the climate are likely to increase resource competition and conflict throughout the world; many analysts have pointed to the Syrian Civil War, which was triggered by a drought-induced humanitarian crisis, as an example of this phenomenon. Climate change is expected to have particularly negative effects in South and Central Asia, meaning that violence, instability, and mass refugee movements along Russia’s southern periphery could increase as global temperatures rise.

The potential for climate change-related phenomena to spark conflict and refugee movements along Russia’s southern periphery should be a cause for concern in Moscow. Russian officials clearly view instability in Central Asia as a significant threat, not least due to the possibility that radical extremists could find safe haven in the weak states and ungoverned spaces of the region. Moscow has warily eyed the possibility of spillover from the war in Afghanistan, and reacted to the Taliban capture of the northern city of Kunduz by reinforcing the already considerable Russian military presence in Tajikistan. Senior Kremlin officials have referred repeatedly to the danger of Islamist militant groups using Afghanistan as a base to attack Russia and Central Asia. In short, Moscow is clearly concerned that the war in Afghanistan is destabilizing surrounding states and views any such instability as a threat to Russian interests.

Given this perception of the threat to Russia from an unstable Central Asia, Russia’s official attitude toward climate change is perplexing. Several of the states of Central Asia are already quite weak, and are routinely listed among the world’s most unstable countries in Foreign Policy’s Fragile States Index. Scientific projections suggest that Central Asia could suffer significantly from climate change. The region is already confronting a significant water scarcity problem, which has been worsened by irresponsible policymakers; warming temperatures will likely exacerbate this issue. Several studies project increased land degradation and diminished water supplies in Central Asia if global temperatures continue to climb, both of which would devastate agriculture and disproportionately affect the poorest segments of the region’s population. These trends could further destabilize weak states like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, creating the security vacuums and extremist safe havens that Moscow is so keen to avoid.

Additionally, increased migration from Central Asia could adversely affect Russia’s internal social cohesion and stability. Recent years have seen an ever-rising tide of chauvinistic nationalism in Russia, a trend that will only accelerate as economic malaise deepens. Russian politicians have portrayed labor migrants from Central Asia as “parasites” and threats for years; accordingly, an influx of migrants at a time of ongoing economic stagnation and insecurity could be socially toxic and potentially explosive.

Given Russia’s ongoing reliance on fossil fuels (which has only deepened in recent years despite half-hearted attempts at economic diversification) and the likelihood that Putin (not known for his malleable opinions) will remain in power for the foreseeable future, Moscow’s fundamental attitude toward climate change appears unlikely to shift. In light of the potential consequences of climate change for Russia, the country’s citizens should hope that the efforts of other nations to address this most consequential international problem are successful.

 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE MEETINGS OF THE PARTIES (COP)

 

1995 COP 1, BERLIN, GERMANY
1996 COP 2, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
1997 COP 3, KYOTO, JAPAN
1998 COP 4, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
1999 COP 5, BONN, GERMANY
2000:COP 6, THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS
2001 COP 7, MARRAKECH, MOROCCO
2002 COP 8, NEW DELHI, INDIA
2003 COP 9, MILAN, ITALY
2004 COP 10, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
2005 COP 11/CMP 1, MONTREAL, CANADA
2006 COP 12/CMP 2, NAIROBI, KENYA
2007 COP 13/CMP 3, BALI, INDONESIA
2008 COP 14/CMP 4, POZNAN, POLAND
2009 COP 15/CMP 5, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
2010 COP 16/CMP 6, CANCUN, MEXICO
2011 COP 17/CMP 7, DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
2012 COP 18/CMP 8, DOHA, QATAR
2013 COP 19/CMP 9, WARSAW, POLAND
2014 COP 20/CMP 10, LIMA, PERU
2015 COP 21/CMP 11, Paris, France
2016 COP 22/CMP 12/CMA 1, Marrakech, Morocco
2017 COP 23/CMP 13/CMA 2, Bonn, Germany
2018 COP 24/CMP 14/CMA 3, Katowice, Poland
2019 COP 25/CMP 15/CMA 4 Chile

2020 COP 25/CMP 16/CMA 5 TBA

 

 

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BN271RF

United Kingdom.

 

Tel/Fax: 0044 1323 831727

Email: growth @ blue-growth . org

 

 

 

Rank

Country

GDP (billions of US$)

 % of World GDP

 $M contribution

.

.

.

.

.

1

Flag of the European Union European Union

$18,399

23.7%

1.840

2

Flag of the United States of America USA United States

$17,416

22.4%

1.742

3

Flag of China China

$10,355

13.3%

1.036

4

Flag of Japan Japan

$4,770

6.1%

0.477

5

Flag of Germany Germany

$3,820

4.9%

-

6

Flag of France France

$2,902

3.7%

-

7

British Union Jack flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom

$2,848

3.7%

0.285

8

Flag of Brazil Brazil

$2,244

2.9%

0.224

9

Italian flag of Italy Italy

$2,129

2.7%

0.212

10

Russian flag Russia

$2,057

2.7%

0.206

11

Flag of India India

$2,048

2.6%

0.205

12

Canadian flag og Canada Canada

$1,839

2.33%

0.184

13

Flag of Australia Australia

$1,531

1.94%

0.153

14

Flag of Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia

$1,358

1.72%

0.136

15

 South Korea

$1,305

1.66%

0.130

16

Mexican flag of Mexico Mexico

$1,259

1.60%

0.126

17

Flag of Indonesia Indonesia

$868

1.10%

0.087

18

Dutch flag of Netherlands or Holland Netherlands

$853

1.08%

-

19

Argentinian flag of Argentina Argentina

$637

0.80%

0.063

20

Flag of South Africa South Africa

$349

0.40%

0.035

.

.

.

.

.

76.59%

$7,181,000

 

 

THE G20 HEADS OF STATE A - Z

 

 

 

ARGENTINA

 

 

Malcolm Turnbull

 

AUSTRALIA

 

 

Michel Temer

 

BRAZIL

 

 

Justin Trudeau

 

CANADA

 

 

Xi Jinping

 

CHINA

 

 

EUROPEAN UNION

 

Edouard Philippe

 

FRANCE

 

Angela Merkel

 

GERMANY

 

Narendra Modi

 

INDIA

 

Joko Widodo

 

INDONESIA

 

Giuseppe Conte

 

ITALY

 

Shinzo Abe

 

JAPAN

 

Enrique Pena Nieto

 

MEXICO

 

Vladimir Putin

 

RUSSIA

 

King Salman

 

SAUDI ARABIA

 

Cyril Ramaphosa

 

SOUTH AFRICA

 

Moon Jae-in

 

SOUTH KOREA

 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

 

TURKEY

 

Theresa May

 

UNITED KINGDOM

 

Donald Trump

 

UNITED STATES

 

 

 

The G20 (or G-20 or Group of Twenty) is an international forum for governments and central bank governors from:

 

Argentina

Australia

Brazil

Canada

China

European Union

France

Germany

India

Indonesia

Italy

Japan

Mexico

Russia

Saudi Arabia

South Africa

South Korea

Turkey

United Kingdom

United States 

 

Founded in 1999, the G20 aims to discuss policy pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability. It seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organization. 

 

The G20's membership does not reflect exactly the 19 largest national economies of the world in any given year. The organization states:

"In a forum such as the G20, it is particularly important for the number of countries involved to be restricted and fixed to ensure the effectiveness and continuity of its activity. There are no formal criteria for G20 membership and the composition of the group has remained unchanged since it was established. In view of the objectives of the G20, it was considered important that countries and regions of systemic significance for the international financial system be included. Aspects such as geographical balance and population representation also played a major part."

 

ABOUT GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT

 

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of all final goods and services from a nation in a given year. Countries are sorted by nominal GDP estimates from financial and statistical institutions, which are calculated at market or government official exchange rates. Nominal GDP does not take into account differences in the cost of living in different countries, and the results can vary greatly from one year to another based on fluctuations in the exchange rates of the country's currency. Such fluctuations may change a country's ranking from one year to the next, even though they often make little or no difference in the standard of living of its population. The figures quoted here are only a guide.

 

 

 

STATE LEADERS

 

Mauricio Macri
Malcolm Turnbull
Michel Temer
Justin Trudeau
Xi Jinping
Emmanuel Macron
Angela Merkel
Narendra Modi
Joko Widodo
Giuseppe Conte
Shinzō Abe

Enrique Peña Nieto

Vladimir Putin
Salman
Cyril Ramaphosa
Moon Jae-in
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Theresa May
Donald Trump
Donald Tusk

 

 

LINKS & REFERENCE

 

https://inews.co.uk/news/world/vladimir-putin-climate-change-real-good/

https://thediplomat.com/2016/02/russia-and-climate-change-a-looming-threat/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G20

 

 

 

 

 This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. Copyright © Cleaner Oceans Foundation Ltd (COFL) (Company No: 4674774) 2019. Solar Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom. COFL is a charity without share capital.

 

 

 

 

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