Russian Federation, Gabon Submit INDCs
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The Governments of the Russian Federation and Gabon have submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the UNFCCC Secretariat.

With their submissions, a total of 35 parties have formally announced their INDCs.

The Russian Federation's contribution brings the total emissions from industrialized countries covered by INDCs to nearly 80%.

Gabon is the first African country to announce an INDC.

flags_russia_gabon1 April 2015: The Governments of the Russian Federation and Gabon have submitted their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) to the UNFCCC Secretariat. With their submissions, a total of 35 parties have formally announced their INDCs. The Russian Federation’s contribution brings the total emissions from industrialized countries covered by INDCs to nearly 80%. Gabon is the first African country to announce an INDC.

The Russian INDC uses the year 1990 as its baseline and states: “Limiting anthropogenic greenhouse gases [GHGs] in Russia to 70-75% of 1990 levels by the year 2030 might be a long-term indicator, subject to the maximum possible account of absorbing capacity of forests.” The goal builds on an earlier target of limiting emissions to 75% of 1990 levels by 2020. The INDC does not address adaptation.

The submission focuses largely on emissions intensity, or the amount of GHGs emitted per unit of gross domestic product (GDP), emphasizing the “decoupling” of the two in the Russian economy, i.e. the Russian GDP has been growing faster than emissions. Thus, if the contribution of Russian forests is taken into account, the submission states, the INDC “does not create any obstacles for social and economic development.”

Gabon’s INDC is measured against a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario with projections through 2025, and aims to reduce emissions by at least 50%, as compared to BAU. The scenarios presented in the INDC show that this number is likely to be even higher, approximately 62%. In addition, its INDC includes a section on adaptation, outlining the country’s national adaptation strategy.

As a highly-forested country, Gabon excludes the carbon stock stored in its forest biomass in the BAU scenario and its INDC, as its forests absorb four times more carbon than the country emits. However, according to the INDC, land and forest degradation comprise the largest source of emissions for the country, and the country has conceived several policy measures to combat emissions from the forest and land sectors.

Both Gabon and the Russian Federation specify that they will not use internationally-traded carbon credits to meet their goals.

The other 33 parties that have made submissions include the 28 countries under the EU plus the European Commission, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland and the US.

All parties to the UNFCCC are expected to submit INDCs in advance of the Paris Climate Change Conference, which will take place in December 2015. Those submitted by 1 October 2015 will be included in a synthesis report on their aggregate effect by 1 November 2015. Parties are anticipated to agree on a global climate change agreement to take effect in 2020 at the Paris Climate Change Conference. [UNFCCC Press Release, Russian Federation] [Russian Federation’s INDC] [UNFCCC Press Release, Gabon] [Government of Gabon Press Release] [Gabon’s INDC] [UNFCCC INDC Portal]


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