German Environment State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth met with Russia's Environment Minister Sergei Donskoi in St Petersburg on 2 June 2017
Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary at the German Environment Ministry, met today with Russia's Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi in St Petersburg. They discussed additional steps to strengthen their countries' cooperation in the fields of environmental protection and climate policy, focussing in particular on the implementation of the Paris climate agreement.
Jochen Flasbarth commented: "Russia is an indispensable partner when it comes to solving international problems, in particular with a view to climate policy. At this moment, where the United States has declared its withdrawal from the Paris agreement, Russia is sending a strong signal by announcing its intention to step up cooperation in this area. The projects our countries have agreed on can make a valuable contribution in that direction."
Given the dependence of Russia's industry on fossil fuels, the cooperation focusses mainly on improving energy and resource efficiency, accelerating the deployment of renewable energies and providing incentive schemes to support the modernisation of Russia's industry. The two countries intend to establish a political dialogue process involving industry representatives and researchers in the field of applied sciences. One concrete goal is to support Russia in introducing the BAT ("best available technologies") concept and in implementing modern waste legislation.
Cooperation to preserve and strengthen the resilience of Russia's forests and peatlands is another topic of global importance for the climate that is covered by the consultations. Building on the highly successful cooperation of the last years, it is planned to agree on additional projects in this field.
Minister Donskoi, State Secretary Flasbarth and the Director of WWF Russia, Igor Chestin, also announced the launch of a joint project on biodiversity preservation in Russia's northern regions. The project will be funded by the German Environment Ministry via its International Climate Initiative.
During his visit to St Petersburg, State Secretary Flasbarth will also meet with Deputy Minister of Economic Development Nikolai Podguzov and leading representatives of Russia's industry to discuss aspects of an economically and socially acceptable transition to a low-carbon economy