Wait, Putin has a climate adviser?

Courtesy of the Moscow Times

President Vladimir Putin’s senior adviser on climate change has called for Russia to take urgent action toward climate change, including taking more substantive steps to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

Speaking at a press conference in Moscow on Thursday, Ruslan Edelgeriev said Russia failed to achieve Putin’s goal of reducing the share of fossil fuels in the country’s economy by 40% from 2007-2020. The actual decrease was just 12%.

If current rates of reduction don’t change, Russia won’t reach this goal until 2043, which would be a “serious problem,” Edelgeriev said.

He pointed to natural disasters like last summer’s widespread wildfires in Siberia as a sign that Russia needs to take action against climate change.

“On a global scale, they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. They cause both economic and social damage, as well as harm to public health. Some people believe that forest fires are a natural phenomenon. … I believe that we can’t afford to assume that they’re burning as part of a natural process — it’s necessary to intervene and ensure that the forests don’t burn,” he said.

On the one hand I am gobsmacked that Putin even gives a shit about the climate since his country is so dependant on fossil fuel production. 

Then on the other hand I wonder if this guy’s job is purely ornamental and that he is only around to give the appearance that Putin gives a shit about the climate.

Well now that this guy has made these comments publicly I guess we will soon find out. 

If Russia really does make changes to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels we will know he was legit. 

If he sudddenly gets very clumsy around a third floor hotel window we will know his job was purly ornamental and that he should have kept his big Russian mouth shut.