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Putin Upbeat After Trump Withdraws U.S. From Global Climate Agreement


Russian President Vladimir Putin at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

While many world leaders on June 2 said they fear a bleaker future following the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, Russian President Vladimir Putin was more upbeat about it.

"Don't worry, be happy!" Putin quipped at an economic forum in St. Petersburg. He said the climate deal doesn't formally go into effect until 2021, giving nations years to come up with further constructive solutions to combat global warming.

Putin said he did not want to judge U.S. President Donald Trump for his decision to withdraw, but he thought Washington could have remained in the pact if it had simply scaled back the ambitious greenhouse gas curbs pledged by the Obama administration.

"The agreement is a good one. It's a proper document aimed at solving one of today's global problems," said Putin.

Russia has signed the accord, but has not yet ratified it. The emission curbs Russia pledged under the deal are among the weakest submitted by any country, potentially allowing it to increase emissions in the future rather than decrease them.

Moreover, Russia's economy remains heavily reliant on sales of oil and gas, which along with coal are the biggest source of the main greenhouse gas -- carbon dioxide emissions.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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