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Putin Adviser Vows to Highlight Climate Activists’ Demands

The young activists now plan to meet with experts “to relay a strong collective position” at the anticipated talks with Putin. FFFRussia / Twitter

Vladimir Putin’s environmental adviser has promised to bring Russian climate activists’ demands to the president later this month, the activists said Wednesday.

The activists met Putin’s special representative on climate issues Ruslan Edelgeriyev at the UN climate conference in Madrid for over an hour, the Meduza news website reported

“He agreed to convey our demands to the Russian president. The [next] meeting will take place after Dec. 20,” the activists wrote on social media.

The activists plan to consult with experts and environmental NGOs “to relay a strong collective position” at the anticipated talks with Putin, they added.

“There wasn’t an open dialogue — [Edelgeriyev] didn’t answer our questions directly,” the Russian movement’s coordinator, student Arshak Makichyan, told Meduza.

Edelgeriyev was presumably part of Russia’s delegation at the COP25 climate talks. There, environment ministers from over 190 countries negotiated outstanding issues around the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit a rise in global temperatures to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius. Current policies put the world on track for a rise of at least 3 C by the end of the century.

Police at the conference removed more than 100 mostly young protesters, including Makichyan, after they made a rare intrusion of visceral emotion into the usually sedate annual two-week climate talks.

Putin has previously joked about climate change and criticized teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg as “kind and very sincere” but poorly informed.

Russia says that climate change is heating the country at a faster rate than the rest of the world and predicts that climate change will bring epidemics, drought and mass hunger if left unchecked. This fall, the country ratified the landmark climate pact that almost 200 countries signed in 2015 in Paris. 

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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