The plan reflects a marked change of mood in Russia on climate change.

 A Russian island north of Japan has become a testing ground for Moscow’s efforts to reconcile its prized fossil fuel industry with the need to do something about climate change, AP reports.

More than two-thirds of Sakhalin Island is forested. With the Kremlin’s blessing, authorities there have set an ambitious goal of making the island — Russia’s largest — carbon neutral by 2025.

Tree growth will absorb as much planet-warming carbon dioxide as the island’s half-million residents and its businesses produce, an idea the Russian government 4,000 miles to the west in Moscow hopes to apply to the whole country, which has more forested area than any other nation.

“The economic structure of Sakhalin and the large share of forestland in the territory and carbon balance distribution reflect the general situation in Russia,” said Dinara Gershinkova, an adviser to Sakhalin’s governor on climate and sustainable development. “So the results of the experiment in Sakhalin will be representative and applicable to the whole Russian Federation.”

Read more

© Copyright LaPresse