Could climate alarm bells be ringing in the Kremlin? Official pronouncements and a newfound urgency suggest the reality of greener global demand may finally force a fossil fuel behemoth to accept the inevitable.
Last week, in a ministerial meeting that touched on environmental monitoring, President Vladimir Putin warned officials that over the past four decades or so, temperatures increased in Russia nearly three times faster than the global average. He noted climate change was behind wildfires sweeping across Siberia. Earlier, he had dedicated a significant portion of April’s state-of-the-nation address to climate, flagged it as an area of potential cooperation with the United States and ordered officials to draw up an emissions reduction plan, due by October. Quite the change of tone for a leader who once mocked renewable energy.