At UN, Putin bids to sponsor climate forum

Russian president slips in desire to host international climate forum in New York speech

Address by His Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation

(credit: UN photo)

By Alex Pashley

Vladimir Putin’s first speech at the United Nations in over a decade ended on a cryptic offer to host a climate change forum.

Moscow was ready to co-sponsor an event to tackle depleting natural resources, habitat destruction and climate change, the Russian president said in a widely-anticipated podium address on Monday.

Putin hinted current plans to rein in greenhouse gas emissions were faltering and advocated a change of tack, with little detail on what that would entail.

“We might defuse the problem for a while for a while by setting quotas on harmful emissions… but we need a completely different approach. New technologies inspired by nature,” the former KGB officer told the plenary hall in New York.

The intervention is surprising as Moscow has been quiet on the climate debate in recent years, showing little interest in the global deal due to be signed at a December summit in Paris.

Analysis: Ahead of Paris, Russia becomes a climate policy wallflower

The country was one of the first to put forward its national plan in March, where it pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25-30% on 1990 levels by 2030.

If the full sweep of its forests were taken into account, it could reduce its greenhouse gases by as much as 75%, it said.

Critics said the pledge was vague and full of loopholes.

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