Environment

Russia responds to Biden and Obama’s criticism of the country’s climate policy

Russia has responded to Biden and Obama’s criticism of the country’s climate policy and skipping of the COP26 climate summit in the UK.

Through the foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Russia has rejected U.S. criticism of Moscow’s commitment to tackle the climate crisis, taking a swipe at the world’s “second-largest greenhouse gas emitter.”

Russia bristles over claims from the U.S. that it is neglecting its responsibility in tackling global warming.

Earlier on, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had responded to Biden’s comments that…in Russia “literally, the tundra is burning” and that despite his country’s “serious climate problems” Putin is “mum on willingness to do anything.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded, “let’s not forget that forests are burning in California.”

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After Obama’s remark, Zakharova also took a similar approach, telling reporters: “Those baseless accusations raise eyebrows, at the very least.”

“We call upon the United States, the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter, to refrain from baseless attacks on anyone,” she said.

She said the U.S. should “work jointly on international platforms to efficiently tackle negative consequences of climate change.”

She added that Russia was developing its low-carbon power generation sector which exceeds 40 percent of energy needs.

This consists of nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, and solar generation and with the addition of natural gas, “the share will increase to 86 percent, which is among the world’s best.”

She added that other green measures would be taken as part of Russia’s program over the next 15 years to “conserve energy and raise the economy’s energy efficiency.”

The former U.S. President Barack Obama had on Monday criticized Russia as well as China—for a “dangerous lack of urgency” in cutting emissions.

Critics had pointed to the in-person absence of President Vladimir Putin at the summit, although he did give a video address.

Russia is the world’s fourth-highest emitter of greenhouse gases and heavily relies on its export of fossil fuels.

However, it did not sign the U.S.-led Global Methane Pledge at COP26 to cut methane emissions 30 percent by 2030.

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