Putin doesn’t think humans control the climate, and has said so openly. Now, he’s finally agreed to ratify the Paris agreement, though with very low targets. He even did it by a government order (which means he has bypassed the house — the State Duma) — presumably to avoid the people who would voice “the same kinds of arguments against the need for collective action that he himself has frequently expounded.”.
By Natasha Doff, Ilya Arkhipov, and Yuliya Fedorinova, Bloomberg
Putin, who presides over the world’s fourth-largest emitter, is trying to position himself as a leader of the same transnational regulatory movement that his first economic adviser compared to fascism. After three and half years of foot-dragging, Putin has finally decided to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement — and the reasons have less to do with the fate of the planet than with geopolitics and gross domestic product.
Mark it in your diary. Straight answer coming:
In fact, when asked if embracing the Paris pact means Putin now agrees with the scientific consensus on the primary cause of planetary heating, his spokesman was unusually blunt:
“No,” Dmitry Peskov said by text message.
He’s now speaking double-inverted climate speak — where he still says he doesn’t agree with the consensus but they should do some mitigation, while dropping coded complaints about “unidentified Western leaders who he said continue to cynically distort the issue for political and economic gain.”
In the leadup he was lobbied by leaders in Germany, France and Scandinavia.
[Officials involved in those discussions] said Putin’s policy pivot was driven by the cold calculus of economics and realpolitik rather than any real conviction in the efficacy of further crimping personal and corporate behavior.
The reason for the flip is that Russia is already isolated and faces sanctions from the West and he can see more coming. Environmental standards are being promoted everywhere and it’s just a matter of time before Russia is isolated further, and Russian exports are taxed out of business.
In other words, no nation (bar the US, perhaps) can stand alone against the Big Government Octopus. (It’s time other nations got organised — bring back the Commonwealth!) We need a coalition of countries, the Anglosphere, plus Brazil, Japan, Russia?
Because of the fallout from the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s emissions are 25% less than they were in 1990. So Putin could brag about that if he wanted too. Doesn’t count for anything though. It’s not how much CO2 you produce, it’s how much you say you care about it….