#15 - JRL 2009-230 - JRL Home
Russian president signs climate doctrine - aide

MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti)- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a national climate doctrine, Kremlin aide Arkady Dvorkovich said on Thursday.

Russian Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev said earlier the doctrine, which envisages measures to be taken by the country's government, was designed to enhance the efficiency of the Russian economy, primarily energy efficiency.

"Climate change could substantially affect the efficiency of various industries, including agriculture and forestry; there may be positive changes in some places, and other places could face negative effects," the presidential aide said during a press conference.

Dvorkovich assured reporters that Russia's plans to cut hydrocarbon gas emissions were harmonized with the national economic development strategy.

"We will not commit ourselves to any restrictions that would negatively affect our economic growth potential," he said.

On Monday, Medvedev announced that Russia would restrict its greenhouse gas emissions to 25% of 1990 levels by 2020.

The president wrote on his blog that Russia could reduce the release of 30 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases into 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.

Medvedev will attend a meeting of heads of state and government on Thursday in Copenhagen, where the UN climate change conference has been underway since December 7.

On Friday, Medvedev will address the UN conference proper "with a brief speech... to last five or six minutes," Dvorkovich said.

The Kremlin official said Russia expected the conference to adopt an action plan for the next few months at least.

"Some time ago we certainly expected that the Copenhagen conference would lead to the signing of a framework agreement defining the principles of further work and major mechanisms and commitments on the part of countries. Today, reaching an agreement on principles would be progress," Dvorkovich said.

He said Russia was ready to allocate $200 million as part of a $10 billion international assistance package to developing countries.

Developing economies set financial assistance as a condition for their involvement in any climate change deal, with most industrialized countries prepared to contribute.

Dvorkovich said Russia would like to have a clear idea of how the funds would be spent and if there would be any further plans.

"It is clear about the first $10 billion. The question is how much more will be required," he said.

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