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Russia ties ratification of Paris agreement to lifting of sanctions

VIDEO SHOWS: SMOKE OVER POWER STATION / HEAD OF RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT EXPERT GROUP ON ENVIRONMRNT, RASHID ISMAILOV, SAYING RATIFICATION OF PARIS AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE DEPENDS ON LIFTING OF SANCTIONS / KOGALYM OIL FIELD / SOUNDBITES OF HEAD OF GREENPEACE RUSSIA ENERGY PROGRAMME, VLADIMIR CHUPROV / OIL PUMPS / WILDFIRES / SOUNDBITES OF HEAD OF WORLD WILDLIFE FUND IN RUSSIA, IGOR CHESTIN / FLOODS

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT.

SHOWS: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (RECENT) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

1. VIEW OF KREMLIN SEEN FROM RIVER

2. VIEW OF MOSCOW CITY

3. PEOPLE ON OBSERVATION DECK

4. VARIOUS OF SMOKE RISING FROM FACTORIES PIPES

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (OCTOBER 25, 2017) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

5. ROUND TABLE ON ENVIRONMENT

6. RUSSIAN COAT OF ARMS AND SIGN READING (Russian): ‘ANALYTICAL CENTRE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION’

7. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT EXPERT GROUP ON ENVIRONMENT, RASHID ISMAILOV, SAYING:

“In order for us to ratify the Paris agreement (on Climate) we first need to talk about partial lifting of sanctions for our (Russian) enterprises so that those financial resources of certain foreign financial institutions and foundations were accessible to our enterprises in order for them to carry out this environmental modernization.”

IRKUTSK REGION, RUSSIA (FILE – AUGUST, 2015) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

8. LAKE BAIKAL, SMOKE RISING OVER FOREST IN BACKGROUND

9. SMOKE BILLOWING

CHITA REGION, RUSSIA (FILE – APRIL, 2015) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

10. SMOKE RISING FROM GROUND AMONG TREES

11. TREE TRUNK ON FIRE

12. FIREMAN PUTTING OUT FIRE

13. FOREST ON FIRE

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (OCTOBER 26, 2017) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

14. HEAD OF GREENPEACE RUSSIA ENERGY PROGRAMME, VLADIMIR CHUPROV, TAKING SEAT AT DESK

15. BADGE WITH SIGN READING: ‘OUR CLIMATE / OUR FUTURE / YOUR DECISION’

16. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF GREENPEACE RUSSIA ENERGY PROGRAMME, VLADIMIR CHUPROV, SAYING:

“The number of wild fires increases. They used to happen before, but now they have become more frequent and disastrous. There are millions of hectares of forests annually destroyed by these fires. This causes damage to the agriculture through draught and hail. According to Roshydromet (Russia’s state meteorological service) this means the loss of 10-15 percent of agricultural potential of the Russian fertile black soil by the middle of the 21st century. And it is the main breadbasket of the Russian Federation. This means losses for oil and gas industry which has hundreds of thousands of gas pipelines in permafrost area.”

KOGALYM, RUSSIA (FILE – JANUARY 2016) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

17. VARIOUS OF STEAM RISING OVER OIL FACILITIES COVERED IN SNOW

18. WORKER AT OIL FACILITY

19. SUN OVER OIL FACILITY

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (OCTOBER 26, 2017) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

20. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF GREENPEACE RUSSIA ENERGY PROGRAMME, VLADIMIR CHUPROV, ANSWERING QUESTION ABOUT OPPONENTS OF RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT) SAYING:

“Today oil and gas producers make up to 99 percent of the lobby (which influences decision-making on climate issues), including companies connected to this industry – metallurgy, construction of (oil) tankers, (drilling) platforms and other drilling equipment. And business which just started feeling benefits of the green energy is only emerging. It is represented by (Russian billionaire Viktor) Vekselberg, by (the former deputy prime minister Anatoly) Chubais and to some extent Rostec (Russian state corporation established to promote development, production and export of Russian hi-tech industrial products) are trying to develop some kind of bioenergetics.”

KOGALYM, RUSSIA (FILE – JANUARY 2016) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

21. VARIOUS OF OIL PUMPS

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (OCTOBER 25, 2017) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

22. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF WORLD WILDLIFE FUND IN RUSSIA, IGOR CHESTIN, SAYING:

“Despite the fact that the government seems to have introduced special tariffs on renewable energy sources – there are (state) standards which prevent it from developing fast, in particular in the field of wind power generation. There are technical roads between wind mills which are used for their maintenance. According to Russian regulations these roads should have two lanes. But it is clear that this makes this station not competitive in terms of price.”

23. EYES

24. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF WORLD WILDLIFE FUND IN RUSSIA, IGOR CHESTIN, SAYING:

“The issue of ratification is a matter of time. It is being discussed with the business representatives and in parliament. I think the time will come. But it has little to do with the reality, with real emission. Regardless of whether the agreement is ratified or not the emission in Russia is decreasing and this is the most important.”

SOCHI, RUSSIA (FILE – JUNE, 2015) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)

25. FLOODED STREETS

26. PEOPLE WADING THROUGH WATER IN STREET

27. CARS DROWNED IN WATER

28. PEOPLE FLOATING IN BOAT

29. MAN WADING THROUGH FLOODED STREET

STORY: Russia’s ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change is tied to the lifting of western sanctions, Russian government adviser on environmental issues said days before the Climate Change Conference in Bonn.

Russia is the only large carbon emitter that has not yet ratified the agreement aimed at curbing global emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases, which was signed in 2015 by nearly 200 countries.

“We first need to talk about partial lifting of sanctions for our (Russian) enterprises so that those financial resources of certain foreign financial institutions and foundations were accessible to our enterprises in order for them to carry out this environmental modernization,” Rashid Ismailov, who heads the Russian government expert group on environment told Reuters

Moscow reluctance to ratify the agreement is the result of pressure by the country’s oil and gas lobby, says the head of Greenpeace Russia energy programme Vladimir Chuprov.

“Today oil and gas producers make up to 99 percent of the lobby (which influences decision-making on climate issues), including companies connected to this industry – metallurgy, construction of (oil) tankers, (drilling) platforms and other drilling equipment,” Chuprov told Reuters.

Russian budget relies heavily on oil and gas as the country’s key export. Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov said recently that 40 percent of the state’s income still depend on oil prices. But environmentalists warn that the country might pay a heavy price for its reluctance to ratify the Paris agreement.

Over the last 15 to 20 years the number of dangerous meteorological events in Russia has doubled, with around 590 last year, ranging from strong winds and storms to heavy rain, Russian climate experts said last month, at the opening of Russian Climate Week in Moscow.

The country is also seeing – or expected to see – stronger heatwaves and cold snaps, droughts in southern agricultural areas, increasing numbers of forest fires and thawing of permafrost, which covers more than 60 percent of Russia’s territory, climatologists said.

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