Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Climate crisis leaving its marks on Russia

RIA Novosti (Russia): Russia’s politicians and ecologists have been forced to address the issue of climate change for the second time this year as November temperatures break records in a number of regions. “Russia is getting warmer and warmer,” says Yelena Kravets of The Bellona Foundation, an environmental NGO based in Norway, with an office in St.Petersburg. “We are having shorter winters, which may be pleasant at the moment, but will have a greater impact.”

A record-breaking heat wave this summer caused a series of destructive wildfires and an unparalleled drought that destroyed crops so severely all grain exports had to be banned. Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, blamed the crisis on climate change and called for action.

“What’s happening with the planet’s climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us, meaning all heads of state, all heads of social organizations, to take a more energetic approach to countering the global changes to the climate,” Medvedev said. In 2009, ahead of the Copenhagen Climate Conference, the Russian government adopted a climate doctrine outlining the country’s response to climate change.

“Our government is very two-faced,” says Kravets. “They signed a climate doctrine in 2009, officially confirming that climate change is really taking place. But that’s just a declaration. It doesn’t mean anything until plans are drafted, and action is taken.”…

A star on the Kremlin, shot by KNewman, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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