Russia Adopts Paris Climate Accord in Rare Show of Environmental Awareness

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday signed a decree giving formal support to the Paris climate agreement and ordered Russian laws to be adapted to its obligations, Reuters reported.

The document says that Russia is formally adopting the 2015 Paris agreement and will now “allocate financial resources… to developing countries for prevention and adaptation to climate change.”

While not formally named a “ratification,” the government said in a statement that the decree signifies Russia’s adoption of the agreement and “Russia’s consent to the obligations under the Paris Agreement.”

Russia is the world’s fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the biggest emitter not to have ratified the landmark global climate deal.

In Monday’s government decree, Russia said it did not need to ratify the agreement because Moscow had already undertaken to honor its commitments when it signed the deal in April 2016.

The news comes just hours ahead of a new major UN climate summit, aimed to reinvigorate the faltering Paris accord as mankind is releasing more greenhouse gases than ever into the atmosphere.

One of the world’s key energy producers, Russia has remained one of the largest economies and polluters that signed but failed to ratify the accord.

In a statement, Greenpeace Russia welcomed the decision.

“Russia’s actions have great significance: our country has a huge potential to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions,” the environmental group said in a statement.