Russia's climate policy fails to raise hopes

Russia's new climate doctrine hints at Moscow's growing willingness to engage with the international community in fighting climate change, but EU observers are not pinning their hopes on ambitious commitments from their Eastern neighbour to aid the passage of a post-Kyoto climate treaty.

Last month, the Russian government endorsed a draft climate plan, ending the long silence of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's government. Until now, Russia's official line on climate change has centred on arguments against halting Russia's economic growth.

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Russian Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev said the document predicted both how global warming would impact upon Russia and how the government's climate policies should facilitate adaptation when he presented the new plan to the Cabinet on 23 April.

Trutnev stressed that climate mitigation policies could in fact benefit the Russian economy. "The economy will develop in different climatic conditions in the future. That's why climate changes need to be taken into account," he told a press conference, according to the Moscow Times.

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