The Belarusian government regards the climate conference as an opportunity to re-establish its international legitimacy and to seek technical assistance, financial benefits, and other concessions from foreign countries and UN agencies and organizations.

We would like to remind the global community of the following significant challenges.

  1. The existing Belarusian powers lost their legitimacy in 2020, following fraudulent presidential elections and subsequent violence [1], when thousands of peaceful individuals were subjected to political repressions. Over 1500 people have been imprisoned in Belarus for political reasons, including Nobel laureate and human rights defender Ales Beliatslky [2].
  2. Belarus regime supports Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, contributing to its severe climatic and other environmental impacts that are not recognized or quantified because they are not disclosed as security or military-related.
  3. Belarus quit the Aarhus UNECE Convention in 2022 [3], and Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats in 2023 [4], demonstratively abdicating its obligations to protect the environment and environmental rights of citizens.
  4. Lukashenko regime liquidated most of the NGOs, citizen’s associations, and political parties that had a climate agenda and showed their commitment to environmental justice, including Ecohome and the Belarusian Green Party [5].
  5. Belarus powers is systematically nuking the climate, representing its unsafe nuclear power plant, which became the subject of disputes with the European Community [6], as an acceptable climate solution.
  6. Belarus’ claimed gains in lowering carbon emissions, according to environmental non-governmental organizations, are possible thanks to manipulations with indicators and statistics. Meanwhile, the country lacks an effective system for monitoring and accounting for emissions, as well as a low-carbon policy [7].
  7. Belarus powers claims that allegedly unfair sanctions pressure is preventing it from accomplishing ambitious climate goals [8]. However, the country did not show any appreciable progress in financing plans or measures for climate mitigation or adaptation even prior to the imposition of current sanctions or their easing [7].

It is critical to note that reaching climate goals cannot be attained at the price of rising global risks, environmental injustice, and regional instability. Rather than really reducing emissions, Belarus has now opted for the risky course of increasing tensions both domestically and internationally and supporting Russian aggression. There is no international support for this. We believe that both the participants in the Climate Conference and we have an obligation to remind Belarus of this!

We demand that negotiations with Belarus, especially those concerning technical aid for climate mitigation and adaptation, must first address each of the issues listed.

 

 

 

 

 

References:

[1] Rosenstock-Siller, E. (2022, September 1). On the Second Anniversary of the Fraudulent Elections in Belarus. U.S. Mission to the OSCE. https://osce.usmission.gov/on-the-second-anniversary-of-the-fraudulent-elections-in-belarus/

 

[2] Viasna. (2023, December 1). Viasna Human Rights Center. https://prisoners.spring96.org/en

 

[3] President of the Republic of Belarus. (2022, July 18). Belarus to withdraw from Aarhus Convention. Web-site of President of the Republic of Belarus. https://president.gov.by/en/events/belarus-to-withdraw-from-aarhus-convention

 

[4] Bern convention. (2023, November 20). 43rd Standing Committee meeting. Convention on the conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. https://www.coe.int/en/web/bern-convention/-/43rd-standing-committee-meeting

 

[5] SCO Meter. (2023, July 13). Belarus launched campaign of forced liquidation of political parties. SCO Meter. https://csometer.info/updates/belarus-launches-campaign-forced-liquidation-political-parties

Ecohome, NGO. (2022, August 3). Statement of the Ecohome NGO on the decision of Belarus of withdrawal from the Aarhus Convention. Ecohome web-site. https://ecohome.ngo/statement-of-the-ecohome-ngo-on-the-decision-of-belarus-of-withdrawal-from-the-aarhus-convention/

 

[6] European Parliament. (2021, February 11). European Parliament resolution of February 2021 on the safety of the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets (Belarus) (2021/2511(RSP)). Web-site of European Parliament. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2021-0052_EN.html

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. (2020, September 14). Joint Statement on the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Ostrovets. web-site of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. https://uk.mfa.lt/default/en/news/belaruss-npp-poses-a-nuclear-threat-to-the-whole-region  https://uk.mfa.lt/default/en/news/joint-statement-on-the-belarusian-nuclear-power-plant-in-ostrovets

 

[7] Зялены партал. (2023, ноябрь 29). Обязательства ниже плинтуса и желание продложать ничего не делатью https://greenbelarus.info/articles/29-11-2023/obyazatelstva-nizhe-plintusa-i-zhelanie-prodolzhat-nichego-ne-delat

 

[8] БЕЛТА. (2023б ноябрь 29). “Климат стал глобальной проблемой безопасности”. Что Беларусь ждет от климатического саммита в ОАЭ. БЕЛТА. https://www.belta.by/society/view/klimat-stal-globalnoj-problemoj-bezopasnosti-chto-belarus-zhdet-ot-klimaticheskogo-sammita-v-oae-602364-2023/

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