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Greenpeace denounces Russia's energy policy

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Dec 7, 2007
Greenpeace Russia condemned Moscow as the world's "number three climate killer" after the United States and China Friday, saying its energy policy was inefficient.

"The Russian government is putting its money into new coal-fired plants... forgetting its obligations concerning CO2 emissions," it said in a statement, citing UN figures estimating Moscow generated 1.52 billion tonnes of heat-trapping carbon dioxide yearly.

The criticism comes as delegates from nearly 190 nations including Russia are gathered for summit in Bali, Indonesia, tasked with laying the groundwork for a new global warming treaty.

Although Russia ratified the last Kyoto Protocol global warming treaty in 2004, Moscow risks "not fulfilling its obligations if plans by the Russian government to build new coal-fired plants are realised," said Greenpeace.

Coal plants are extremely controversial.

Some experts cite new technology being developed to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions underground. But for now, environmental activists consider coal a leading culprit of global warming emissions.

Greenpeace estimated the costs of climate change-related disasters in Russia at 60 billion roubles (1.7 billion euros, 2.5 billion dollars) yearly -- or about three percent of the country's annual gross domestic product.

The environmental group has unfurled a massive banner proclaiming "Russia is the number three climate killer" on a Moscow bridge overlooking the Kremlin.

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