28 September 202117:00

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a meeting of the Business Council under the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Moscow, September 28, 2021

1934-28-09-2021

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I am happy to welcome you to a regular meeting of the Business Council in person after a long break.

Today, we will discuss a package of issues related to the impact of the global climate and environmental agenda on the positions of Russian companies abroad and the interests of our country.

This problem is becoming more urgent. We see growing attention to the issues of environmental protection and green transformation in almost all advanced countries and in the majority of multilateral and regional organisations. These trends have become even stronger during the pandemic. Decarbonisation, the transition to eco-friendly energy sources and other items on the climate agenda are becoming an increasingly important factor in determining the development priorities in the energy industry and therefore the global economy as a whole.

Russia invariably attaches much importance to climate issues. We take an active part in discussing them in the international arena, primarily in the context of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We consider the Paris Agreement to be a reliable international legal foundation for a long-term climate settlement. Under the provisions of this document, we are making a contribution to the reduction of the anthropogenic impact on the climate proceeding from the national conditions of our socio-economic development.

We are vigorously preparing for the Glasgow Climate Change Conference next month. Russia has a number of proposals on the environmental agenda. The leaders of Russia have taken a course towards developing a low-carbon economy, in part, towards creating mechanisms for carbon regulation, green investment and funding.

We see a lot of potential for intensifying our cooperation in this area with our partners in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the G20 and BRICS. We are willing to participate in environmental debates in the UN, World Trade Organisation, the OECD and international financial institutions. We note that many countries are enthusiastic about developing an environmental dialogue with us.

Cooperation in this area must be predictable and transparent. It is important for the international community to be united rather than separated by the issues of climate change and environmental protection. We will work to achieve this by preventing unilateral steps that do not consider the interests of other states.

Colleagues,

We hope for an active, earnest discussion today. The participation of business circles in resolving our tasks in this area is highly topical. It is very important for us to move forward together with the business community without forgetting about economic growth, the social implications, and the need to make Russian businesses more competitive.

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