Russia commits to more emissions reduction

Nov. 19, 2009 at 9:19 AM
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BRUSSELS, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Russian diplomats said Moscow was prepared to cut back on its environment-polluting emissions during its summit with the European Union in Sweden.

The Russian contingent said the country was ready to reduce emissions between 20 percent and 25 percent below 1990s levels by 2010, up from a previous commitment of 10 percent to 15 percent, reported Wednesday.

The announcement came two weeks before the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, to reach an accord on the successor to the Kyoto Protocol on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Russia's commitment, however, is slightly off of the EU target of 20 percent to 30 percent for developed countries and doesn't clarify the issue of Russia's unused carbon credits, which observers said could lead to a crash on the carbon exchange market if Moscow redeems them.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso welcomed Russia's decision, said.

"We are currently negotiating among the world capitals," he said. "But you cannot negotiate with nature. You cannot negotiate with physics."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also said he was satisfied with outcomes from the Russia-EU summit, the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported.

"I am pleased by the fact that Russia-EU summits were no longer as strained as before and had acquired the quality of routine work, which is normal for this long-standing European institution," Medvedev said during a news conference.

Medvedev said issues such as the global economy, energy, climate change, among other topics, were discussed "in a constructive atmosphere without any emotions ... ."

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