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Associated Press

MOSCOW -- The Kremlin has rejected U.S. President Joe Biden's criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin for not attending the U.N. climate conference. 

"His tundra is burning — literally, the tundra is burning. He has serious, serious climate problems, and he is mum on willingness to do anything," Biden said Tuesday of Putin and the wildfires that scorched Siberia this summer. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that Moscow does not agree with Biden's characterization. He said the Russian delegation at COP26 actively participated in the summit.

"Russia's climate action don't have the goal of being pegged to an event," Peskov said. "Of course, we are not belittling the significance of the event in Glasgow, but Russia's actions are consistent, serious and well-thought-through." 

"The tundra indeed is burning," Peskov continued. "But let's not forget that forests are burning in California, and in Turkey, and in other countries. These are the consequences of climate change we're facing, and Russia, to some extent, is facing more serious challenges."

Moscow is taking "a very responsible stance" when it comes to tackling climate change, the Kremlin spokesman stressed, and has "concrete work plans."

"Most likely, all this was not reported to the president of the U.S. when he spoke about the non-participation of Russia," Peskov concluded.

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GLASGOW, Scotland — U.S. special envoy for climate John Kerry said Wednesday that the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow have more energy and focus than previous rounds of climate negotiations in particular because of the strong presence and support of the private sector. 

"I think we are going to have the greatest increase in ambition we've ever had, we probably do in these first 36 hours, and the real issue is going to be follow-up, working with them," Kerry told a gathering of mayors from around the globe involved in climate initiatives at a local level. 

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His comments came as Britain called for the world's financial industry to channel vast funds towards greener investments to ensure that global efforts to curb global warming succeed.

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GLASGOW, Scotland — Britain has called for the world's financial industry to channel its vast funds toward greener investments to ensure that efforts to curb global warming succeed. 

Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said that the U.K. government is providing new funds to help poor countries cope with climate change. But he said that "public investment alone isn't enough." 

Sunak called for a "historic wall of capital for the net zero transition around the world." 

But poor countries are angry that after Britain and other wealthy countries failed to meet their commitment to provide $100 billion a year to finance climate-related projects in the developing world by 2020.

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SHYAMNAGAR, Bangladesh — The impact of climate change from more frequent cyclones to tidal flooding is devastating Bangladesh where an estimated 30 million people in the country may be displaced from the coast. 

Countries like Bangladesh, which contributes a fraction of the world's emissions, are pressing for more financing support to cope with these problems at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow. 

A decade-old deal for rich countries to give poor nations $100 billion each year to switch to clean energy and adapt to climate change hasn't been fulfilled. And the little that has been given is spread too thin to make a difference on the ground.

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