Wildfires and Floods Push Russia to Revise Its Stance on Climate Change

from The Wall Street Journal,

Previously skeptical, government now aims to cap emissions, but opposition in energy sector remains strong.

A double blow of floods and wildfires in Russia this summer is injecting fresh urgency into rethinking the country’s usually skeptical stance toward the dangers posed by climate change. Smoke from massive wildfires raging across an area the size of Belgium has engulfed hundreds of villages in Siberia—and spread as far as Seattle and Vancouver. Floods in the same region took 25 lives and displaced more than 30,000 people. Russian scientists say climate change was a major factor in both disasters. President Vladimir Putin warns that Russia is being hit hard, with temperatures in the country rising 2½ times faster than the global average. His government recently decided to ratify the 2015 Paris climate agreement and introduced proposals for a law capping industrial emissions.

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