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Medvedev vows Russian greenhouse gases down 25% on 1990 by 2020

MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti)-Russia will restrict its greenhouse gas emissions to 25% of 1990 levels by 2020, President Dmitry Medvedev promised on Monday.

He wrote on his blog that Russia could keep 30 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere each year by enhancing its energy and environmental efficiency through economic modernization based on energy-saving technology and the development of renewable energy sources.

"We plan to raise the energy efficiency of the Russian economy by 40% by 2020... The share of nuclear energy will be increased by 25% by 2030," the Russian leader said.

Russia's emissions in 2006 were assessed at 34 percent below 1990 levels after the economic contraction of the early 1990s, so Medvedev's commitment would allow Russia to increase its emissions on current volumes.

The president urged concerted action on the part of the world's largest economies and greenhouse gas emitters, such as the United States, China, India, Russia, and Brazil, "to make the necessary commitments and honor them rigorously."

He said, however, that a differentiated approach should be used to formulate requirements for developed and developing nations.

"It is important that they [the requirements] do not run counter to the economic potential and, most importantly, development priorities of each nation," the president said.

Medvedev said he would attend the UN conference on climate change underway in Copenhagen "to contribute to the adoption of decisions that would unite the efforts of all countries."

The 15th UN climate change conference, the result of two years of international talks on a binding treaty to cut global carbon emission, began in Copenhagen on December 7. The conference, which brings together about 15,000 participants from 192 countries, will run until December 18. It has so far failed to produce a plan to fight global warming.

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