Putin vows Russia will fight climate change

By: AFP      Published: 08:22 PM, 21 Apr, 2021
Putin vows Russia will fight climate change

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday vowed that Russia, one of the world's major producers of oil and gas, would do its part to fight climate change.

"We must respond to the challenges of climate change," Putin said in his annual state of the nation address to lawmakers and regional governors.

He said that Russia has to focus on adaptation to climate change, too, including in agriculture, housing and utilities, as well as its "entire infrastructure".

He also called on Russia to "create an industry for the utilisation of carbon emissions".

And he set a target for Russia, which is one of the world's top carbon emitters, for its emissions to be "less than in the European Union." 

Russia has set numerous heat records in recent years, with the first half of 2020 seeing the warmest temperatures since the country began weather observations.

The head of science at Russia's weather service, Roman Vilfand, said last month that cataclysmic weather events had doubled in the country over the past 25 years.

Putin on Thursday will address an international climate summit hosted by the United States, meant to mark its return to the frontlines of the fight against climate change, after former president Donald Trump backed away from the issue. 

He has also made the development of Russia's Arctic region a strategic priority as ice cover melts and the Northern Sea Route becomes more accessible, which Moscow aims to use in exporting hydrocarbons to Asia.