Kremlin rejects Biden criticism, says Russia 'serious' about climate

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had taken a "very responsible" position on climate change. PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - The Kremlin on Wednesday (Nov 3) rejected US President Joe Biden's criticism of President Vladimir Putin for not showing up at the COP26 summit, saying Moscow is serious about climate change.

"We disagree," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked about Biden's accusation that China and Russia were failing to show leadership on climate change.

"We are certainly not minimising the importance of the event in Glasgow, but Russia's actions are consistent and thoughtful and serious," he said.

Biden on Tuesday lashed out at Putin for not attending the conference, saying: "His tundra is burning - literally, the tundra is burning. He has serious, serious climate problems, and he is mum on willingness to do anything."

Peskov said Moscow was well aware of the effects of climate change and was in fact facing "more serious challenges" than other countries.

"The tundra really is on fire. But let's not forget that forests are burning in California, forests are burning in Turkey, and in other countries," he said.

Peskov said Russia had taken a "very responsible" position on climate change with long-term plans to reduce emissions and diversify energy sources.

He said Biden may not have been aware of these plans when he spoke and that when the two leaders next met in person, "President Putin will have a great opportunity to tell President Biden what we are doing on the climate".

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