Climate change talks shouldn’t turn into witch hunt – Medvedev

President Medvedev has said that talks on a new climate treaty that are underway in Copenhagen should not lead to a “witch hunt”. He said there has been unfair pressure put on countries rich in hydrocarbons.

Prior to his visit to the Danish capital to take part in the 15th UN Climate Change Conference, Dmitry Medvedev met with members of Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).

"This problem [climate change] should be dealt with jointly, on the basis of scientific knowledge and realistic forecasts," Medvedev is quoted by RIA Novosti.

The conference – which has brought together about 15,000 participants from 192 countries – will run until Friday. Its main aim is to discuss a treaty that will replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012.

The Copenhagen talks, Medvedev said, "have failed to produce any remarkable results so far." He added that he was not sure “if we will manage to agree on a so-called binding treaty, which would oblige us to cut carbon emissions.” However, the president added, “a set of principles and a roadmap on the issue could be agreed."

Russia insists a new agreement should involve the biggest greenhouse gas producers.

Yury Osipov, the president of RAS said “we had a heated debate with David King, advisor to the UK prime minister. When discussing the Kyoto agreement, we insisted there was no scientific basis for the deal. Instead of listening, he put enormous pressure on us. Why don’t they understand logical reasons?”

The president agreed with scientists that the current talks reflect a clash of political and economic interests.

“There are so many interests involved – political and business interests, as well as scientific. It’s also an issue which is emotionally charged,” Medvedev said. “The upside is that the business community is coming to view the energy saving industry as a source of income and learning how to make money from it.”