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Medvedev calls for green overhaul of Russian economy

Russia's economy needs fundamental reform to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday, saying the country could then meet its target of a 25% cut by 2020.

Russia's economy needs fundamental reform to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday, saying the country could then meet its target of a 25% cut by 2020.

"Russia's stated goal remains the same - to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% of 1990 levels by 2020. We can achieve it implementing a plan to structurally change the economy," Medvedev said at a climate conference.

He also called for the private sector to help meet the challenge.

The president said there could be changes to the national climate doctrine he approved in December 2009, which assesses the consequences of climate change for Russia and outlines the country's response.

"We need to see how the doctrine is adapted to the current situation. The doctrine should not be absolute, and if necessary we will introduce amendments," he said.

Medvedev also said conclusions should be made following December's climate conference in Copenhagen, which saw developing and developed countries fail to agree on emission restrictions.

The UN climate summit in the Danish capital was originally expected to see the signing of a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, but countries only agreed to try to keep average increases in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.

The Kyoto Protocol is a legally binding agreement restricting carbon emissions, some points of which expire in 2012. A new deal is needed to continue efforts beyond 2012.

During the summit, Medvedev said Russia had become the global leader in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, noting it accounted for almost half of all emission cuts from 1990 levels and therefore had "considerably compensated for the growth of harmful emissions, registered in other states."

"We need to admit [the Copenhagen conference] was a failure. But at the same time it was a lesson," he said.

The post-Soviet industrial collapse in Russia severely cut output, particularly in energy-hungry sectors, meaning Russia's carbon emissions are currently about a third lower than in 1990.

 

GORKI, February 18 (RIA Novosti)

 

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