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Medvedev Leaves Door Open for Climate Treaty

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia is ready to enter a new climate treaty provided it is sufficiently “global.”

Russia will meet its Kyoto commitments to slash carbon emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and it is ready to enter a new climate treaty provided that the pact is sufficiently global, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

Addressing the global summit on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro, Medvedev said Russia is already reducing energy demand by 4 percent a year.

"I would like to reaffirm that greenhouse gas emissions in Russia will be cut by 25 percent by 2020 relative to 1990 levels," Medvedev said at the conference at the end of last week. "We are prepared to become part of a global agreement on this issue, with 'global' being the operative word here, since we want all countries to participate, not just several leading economies."

Russia was among several countries to reject an extension of the protocol for a second implementation period at the climate summit in Durban last year, on the grounds that it was useless without binding commitments from the United States and China.

The prime minister said his country's efforts would focus on tackling the legacy of Soviet-era industrial pollution and creating a modern waste management system.

Despite Medvedev's encouragement, the summit seems unlikely to produce concrete results.

The declaration adopted by the summit, which closed Friday, has been slammed for avoiding definitive commitments to tackle core problems like food and water security and continuing dependence on fossil fuels.

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