Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a new global warming target for his country on Wednesday. Russia thus joins China, which is aiming for the same date.

An announcement a few weeks before COP26. President Vladimir Putin announced Wednesday, October 13 that Russia, one of the biggest polluters in the world, is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060, a more ambitious strategy against global warming than that displayed so far. “In practice, Russia will strive to achieve carbon neutrality in its economy. And we have set a concrete target – no later than 2060”, the president said at an energy forum in Moscow.

Russia is therefore now posting an objective identical to that of China. The daily Kommersant revealed in early October that the Russian government was preparing a new environmental strategy, with stronger measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to this plan unveiled by the Russian newspaper, Moscow would aim to reduce its emissions by nearly 80% by 2050, in particular by gradually abandoning coal as a source of electricity in favor of more nuclear energy, among others.

Russia is one of the main producers of hydrocarbons in the world, fossil fuels whose combustion causes greenhouse gases, the engines of global warming. In this country, environmental issues did not appear until late in official speeches. With much of its economy based on mining, it approaches environmental goals less head-on than its European neighbors. Vladimir Putin was once known for his positions “climate-skeptics”, arguing in particular that Russia would benefit from climate change.

The Russian president has, however, revised his copy since, being alarmed in particular by natural disasters, such as the fires that ravaged the country this summer. This year, Putin also attended a summit hosted by US President Joe Biden, and expressed his interest in the “establishment of international cooperation” on climate change.

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