Russia confirms commitment to Paris climate change agreement amid fears of US pullout

Russia confirms commitment to Paris climate change agreement amid fears of US pullout
Russia sees no alternative to the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, the Kremlin said amid expectations that the US may withdraw from the key emission-reduction accord.

“President Vladimir Putin signed this convention when he was in Paris. Russia attaches great significance to it,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Thursday. “At the same time, it goes without saying that the effectiveness of this convention is likely to be reduced without its key participants.”

He added that at the moment “there is no alternative to” the Paris convention.

The document was sealed in 2015 to replace the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions. Russia is one of the 195 signatories, but is yet to ratify the document.

The US, world’s second-largest emitter after China, may withdraw from the convention, according to numerous reports. President Donald Trump promised to announce his decision on whether to remain part of the agreement on Thursday.

Amid the concerns, Germany and China vowed on Thursday to continue fighting climate change and expand their partnership.

“China will stand by its responsibilities on climate change,” said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who is currently on a European tour.

Trump’s expected withdrawal from the Paris agreement was the main source of tension at last week’s G7 meeting in Italy, witch German Chancellor Angela Merkel describing the talks on the issue as “unsatisfactory.”