18 Nov 2009 13:56

Russia takes first steps toward green economy - Putin

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) - Russia will continue contributing to international efforts to tackle climate change and other environmental problems, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

"Russia has huge natural potential. This unconditional wealth entails our special responsibility for maintaining the ecological balance of our planet," Putin said at a congress of the Russian Geographical Society on Wednesday.

"We have already taken the first steps as part of our transition to a so-called green economy and sustainable development. Uncompromising goals for energy saving have been set," he said.

"A wide variety of environmental protection and ecology initiatives will be launched as part of the government's main program for the period up to 2012 and its national development program for the period up to 2020. Our key objectives include anti-pollution measures, land rehabilitation, as well as projects to protect water and forest resources," the prime minister said.

Russia will continue playing "a proactive role in international efforts to tackle climate change problems, as well as in other worldwide environmental projects," he added.