Russia and Global Climate Politics Russie.Nei.Visions, No. 80, September 2014
Russia, as the fourth largest greenhouse-gas emitter in the world, and a major supplier of fossil fuels causing these emissions, played a decisive role in the enforcement of the Kyoto Protocol, the main instrument of global climate policy so far.
Domestically, serious political measures to combat climate change have yet to be taken. Thus, Russia’s performance in global climate politics indicates that goals other than genuinely environmental ones, such as political or economic benefits, are the main motivation of Russia’s participation. Also, Russia’s national pride and its status as a great power are at stake here. This paper scrutinizes Russia’s stance in global climate politics, offering an overview of Russia’s engagement in international climate politics and its domestic climate policy. In the second part of the paper, Russia’s engagement in global environmental politics is discussed in the context of Russia’s world status and the great-power concept. Accordingly, the paper aims to shed light on how and why Russia behaves in global climate politics in the way it does. This may be of interest to actors in international environmental politics in general, and relevant to future climate negotiations in particular.