Russia: Some nations may blame geopolitics for climate backsliding

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) -Russia is concerned that some countries may be using a "difficult geopolitical situation" to justify backsliding on climate commitments, the Russian climate envoy said at the COP27 summit in Egypt on Tuesday.

"We express serious concern at plans by certain states and regional associations to revise previous commitments on the pretext of a difficult geopolitical situation," said Ruslan Edelgeriev, Adviser to the President and Special Presidential Representative on Climate Issues of the Russian Federation.

He did not name specific countries.

Speaking through a translator, Edelgeriev noted that the world had changed "dramatically" since the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year.

"The global energy crisis which began in 2021, following the COVID pandemic, threatens to stall the global energy transition" away from fossil fuels, he said.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February this year has dramatically worsened a supply crisis in global energy markets.

Surging European gas and power prices as the result of reduced Russian supplies are stoking inflation, hampering industrial activity and inflicting record-high bills on consumers ahead of the northern hemisphere winter.

Edelgeriev said Russia was actively trying to prevent climate change.

"The success of the conference will demonstrate that despite all our differences our ability to respond together to the global challenges of our time," he said.

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Dominic Evans and Janet Lawrence)