American politicians, including former US President Barack Obama, are criticising Russia for insufficient efforts to counter the effects of climate change at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

These groundless accusations are perplexing, to say the least. As distinct from the US, Russia holds a consistent position on climate change that does not change depending on the political environment. Russia’s measures are concrete and comprehensive.

After all, climate change is a serious national challenge for the Russian Federation. The climate is warming up in Russia faster than the world average. Among the effects of this dangerous trend are the melting of permafrost, desertification and soil erosion. Speaking at the Glasgow conference, President of Russia Vladimir Putin emphasised Russia’s willingness to work together on resolving climate issues, including forest management and land use.

Russia has endorsed and is implementing its new socio-economic development strategy with low greenhouse emissions to 2050.

The national leaders have set a specific target for the Russian economy – to reach carbon neutrality by 2060. In fact, the Russian Federation is a global decarbonisation leader: in the past 20 years, the carbon intensity of the Russian economy decreased by an average of 2.7 percent every year, which is more than in the world as a whole and even in the G7 countries.

Russia is actively developing its low-carbon power industry. Today, its share of energy from practically carbon-free sources (nuclear power plants, hydropower, wind and solar stations) exceeds 40 percent. If natural gas (that has the lowest carbon footprint among hydrocarbons) is counted, it is 86 percent. This is one of the best results in the world. Russia will take further measures in this area by implementing its government programme for energy conservation and raising the energy efficiency of the economy with a view to reducing environment impact to 2035.

We are looking forward not to sermons but to similar practical steps by our American partners. We urge the United States, the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, to stop the unsubstantiated attacks and work together to address the consequences of climate change at international venues.