Climate-Denying Russian Coal Giant to Guide Paris Implementation
One of the world’s top 10 coal companies is slated to chair two sessions on Paris agreement implementation at an environmental forum in Moscow December 12-14, despite its history obstructing effective climate policy, according to a draft program obtained by DeSmog UK.
The Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK) “is very diligently lobbying for this idea that there is no need to rush, and that Russia’s transition to a new energy model can be postponed for a number of reasons,” said Vladimir Chuprov of Greenpeace Russia. “Managing the two sessions is a good example of these lobbying efforts.”
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The company “has a long history of lobbying against policies that would favour low-carbon fuels,” DeSmog notes. “SUEK believes the Russian forests absorb all carbon emitted in the country and more, which makes it a net sink.”
The UK website cites the recognition in SUEK’s official statement on climate change “that the production of coal and coal-fired generation are associated with GHG emissions”. But it still maintains that, “as the most affordable and widely available fuel on Earth, coal will long be a vital and cost-effective resource to meet rising demand for energy across the world.” One SUEK employee even tried to make the case for coal as a low-carbon fuel in a recent magazine article.
At the upcoming event in Moscow, the company will organize two sessions: one on regulating greenhouse gas emissions and calculating forests’ CO2 absorption, the other on “impacts of the Paris Agreement on the Russian economy”. Environmental NGO representatives were expected to push back on the company’s influence on the conference program at a planning session yesterday.