Russian President Vladimir Putin held a four-hour-long press conference on 19 December, where he spoke to national and international journalists in an annual televised end-of-year tradition. He touched on a number of topics ranging from Donald trump’s impeachment to the economy of Russia and even the ongoing arms race to the Olympic ban on Russian athletes.

While the topics were well and good, Putin also made some statements about the ongoing climate crisis and the increasing average temperatures around the world. He put forth his views on the Paris Agreement, as well as how climate change will affect his country in the days, months and years to come.

No one knows the origins of climate change, according to Putin, but it could be a disaster especially for countries in the north like Russia. He also that global warming could threaten Russian Arctic cities and towns built on permafrost and trigger more fires and devastating floods.

 Putin: We dont know origins of climate change but it could be a disaster for Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin during his press conference. Image credit: Youtube

“It is very difficult, if not impossible, to work out exactly how humankind affects climate change. But we cannot stay idle either … we should make our best efforts to prevent dramatic changes in the climate,” Putin said to the press, according to an article in DW.

“As for our country, this process is very crucial for us. The temperature in Russia is rising 2.5 times faster than the planet’s average. Russia is a northern country, and 70 percent of our territory is located in the northern latitudes. Some of our cities were built north of the Arctic Circle, on the permafrost. If it begins to thaw, you can imagine what consequences it would have. It would be a disaster.”

He emphasized that Russia has abided by the Paris agreement but countries like US and China, who are major emitters of greenhouse gases are not part of the deal, according to The Associated Press. He also called Russia the “greenest economy in the world” for all its hydro and nuclear power plants that were built starting from the Soviet era.

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