On May 25, 2021, the Global Round Table on Transforming Extractive Industries for Sustainable Development was held in on-line mode, which was opened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
n the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic evolved from a health crisis to become the worst global economic and development emergency in over one hundred years. Extractive industries, especially in the coal, oil and gas sectors, are no exception, and current trends in the sector could well determine the capacity of many countries to invest in recovery and achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The main purpose of the UN Global Round Table was precisely to discuss the current situation with the heads of state and government, other major leaders of the private sector, civil society and academia.
Representatives of 18 states participated at the meeting. Within the framework of the Round Table plenary session, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation Dr. Evgeny Kiselev made a presentation on behalf of the Russian Federation.
In his report, Dr. Evgeny Kiselev noted that achieving Sustainable Development Goal No. 7 "Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all" by 2030 is not possible only through renewable sources. It is necessary to find a reasonable balance between environmental goals and ensuring the development of the economy with a sustainable energy supply.
At the same time, Dr. Evgeny Kiselev stressed that Russia is actively involved in the development and implementation of programs to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, including on the principles of a circular economy. This approach forms the basis of the national project "Ecology" adopted by the Russian Government. He also noted that in Russia increased attention is paid to the introduction of mechanisms for liability of mining companies for environmental damage. Cooperation in eliminating the consequences of the extraction of mineral resources should become one of the important areas of international environmental interaction.
Closing remarks were made by Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. In her speech, she stressed that at the moment concrete solutions are required on six pressing issues:
1. Phase out coal production and secure a just transition to renewable energy.
2. Secure and align public and private finance with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and end fossil fuel subsidies.
3. Ensure that revenue from extractive industries is invested in local populations and long-term sustainable development.
4. Integrate a circular economy approach throughout the extractives sector.
5. End the local and global environmental and social damage caused by extractive industries, including by bolstering transparency and traceability of global value chains.
6. To ensure a just transition, facilitate technology transfers and availability of data and data collection technology for all.