Russia reviews ratification of Paris Agreement

    The preparation of a report on formally joining the climate deal has been ordered complete by the end of the month, while a key industry lobby has reversed its opposition.

    Russia, one of the world’s highest-polluting hold-outs, has taken steps that could lead to ratification of the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile a key business group reversed its opposition.

    Late last year, the country’s lead climate advisor Ruslan Edelgeriev released a statement flagging the preparation of a key report on the pros and cons of ratification.

    In January, business daily Kommersant reported that Edelgeriev had asked a working group of government experts to have the report ready by the end of February, with a view of landing the document on Vladimir Putin’s desk by March.

    The government would then be a position to submit ratification legislation to the country’s two parliamentary chambers, the parliament and federal consul.

    The move coincided with a shift from a key business group that had previously called for Russia to move slowly on its ratification of the deal.

    In a letter to the environment ministry on 17 January, Alexander Shokhin, the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), wrote that “Russian producers are interested in ratification” as “the absence of national obligations and state regulation of activities to combat climate change may serve as a pretext for imposing economic restrictions on Russian companies”. Shoshkin also cited a loss of competitiveness along with unnecessary costs.

    The European Commission indicated last year it would prefer countries in trade negotiations that had backed the Paris deal. Accordingly, the Japan-EU agreement concluded in 2017 contained a chapter explicitly referring to the ratification and implementation of the Paris deal.

    Neither the RSPP or a spokesperson for the EU responded to a request for comment.

    Which countries have not ratified the Paris climate agreement?