4 May 2012

Russia approves new environmental policy

River in Moscow. © Nikolai Sorokin
River in Moscow. © Nikolai Sorokin
Principles of state policy on environmental development in the Russian Federation in the period up to 2030 has been approved by outgoing President Medvedev, writes The St. Petersburg Times.

For the first time the document identifies "global environmental problems associated with climate change, biodiversity loss, desertification and other negative environmental processes" as having an impact on Russian national interests.

Proposals in the report include promoting "environmentally oriented economic growth," slashing pollution from industry to levels "of other developed countries" and making environmental education a key part of schools' curriculum.

The document offers no estimate of the costs of the transition to higher standards, but says such projects will be financed from federal and regional budgets, as well as public-private partnerships.

Freedom of information is one proposal laid out in document published Monday on the Kremlin website. This means that activists, journalists and private citizens could find it easier to access information about the environmental records of businesses and government agencies.

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