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Vladimir Putin

Energy-rich Russia pays little attention to climate change

When forest fires roared through Siberia this summer, so vast that the smoke blocked vast Lake Baikal from satellite view, Russian officials blamed the blazes on arsonists and disorganized fire crews. Environmentalists say there was another culprit: global warming.

As temperatures rise worldwide, areas such as Siberia are suffering increasingly long dry spells. Russia's national weather agency says the country is the fastest-warming part of the world.

But Russia has taken little action to reduce its own emissions of the greenhouse gases believed to be behind the warming and at next week's international climate conference in Paris it aims to push a proposal that would allow...