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Russia’s support crucial for Paris climate agreement, Finnish minister says

June 07, 21:42 UTC+3 HELSINKI

"It is certainly important as Russia is the world’s major, notable player," Finnish Minister of Housing, Energy and Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen said

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HELSINKI, June 7. /TASS/. Russia’s support is crucial in implementing the Paris climate agreement, especially in the wake of the United States’ withdrawal, Finnish Minister of Housing, Energy and Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen told TASS on Wednesday.

"It is certainly important as Russia is the world’s major, notable player. And this support to the agreement is a way to show respect to international cooperation and multilateral agreements which are possible under the auspices of such organizations as the United Nations," Tiilikainen said, adding "climate change is in full swing and active steps are needed to counteract this phenomenon."

"The US decision is slowing down that country’s plans to cut emissions. Therefore, I hope that Russia is among the nations that take the control over emissions close to heart and seek to halt processes in the climate change," he said.

Finland will concentrate on the fight against climate change in the capacity of Arctic Council’s chair that the country assumed in May.

"An issue of ‘black carbon’ (soot that comes from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels that heats the atmosphere - TASS) is of especial importance as well as how we can improve the situation in the Arctic and eventually stop the climate change," the Finnish environment minister said. "Black carbon is a major problem throughout the world, but its consequences are clearly visible in the Arctic, so the regional nations need to work on a solution."

In this case, he continued, "there exists a practical issue that in the areas where crude oil is refined, instead of burning casing-head gas in torches, new technology should be applied that would help save energy by using gas and eliminating emissions," he said.

"To do this means that a burden on the environment from burning could be used for profit," Tiilikainen said.

"I feel that these decisions should be pushed forward during Finland’s Chairmanship at the Arctic Council. At my meeting with Russia’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister Sergei Donskoi, I told him about my wish that Russia were an active member of the working group on black carbon and methane," he concluded.

Paris climate deal

The Paris agreement on climate change was adopted on December 12, 2015, following the results of a conference in the French capital. A total of 195 participants in the forum agreed on preventing average temperatures on Earth from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius by 2100 compared to the pre-industrial epoch.

At a summit at the UN headquarters on April 22, 2016, 175 states, including Russia, Germany, India, China and the United States signed the climate change deal.

Under the agreement, the United States undertook to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2025 over 2005 levels. Last week, US President Donald Trump announced about the US decision to quit the agreement.

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