Humanity may well go extinct if it fails to address environmental problems, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Monday. "We very often hear alarming signals that if humanity does not deal with environmental issues, then it itself, as part of nature, may simply cease to exist. In fact, this may be true," Putin said, speaking at an ecological meeting for young people, in the eastern city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Underlining that, despite differing opinions, it is obvious that humans have caused ecological problems, Putin said at the All-Russian Youth Ecological Forum: "Environmental issues require special attention." "First of all, on the part of people who understand these problems and want to do everything to minimize their negative consequences," he added at the event titled Ecosystem: The Reserved Land. Putin criticized Europe's approach to global environmental issues, saying they had chosen "not the best way" to solve them by cutting off Russian gas supplies, and returning to less green sources of energy, such as coal. Stressing that global problems required global cooperation, he said it would be "impossible to solve global problems by local means, even if these local efforts are based on noble tasks. "Therefore international cooperation in the field of ecology, without any doubt, will continue," he added, expressing confidence that despite the current tensions, international cooperation on the environment, space, and arms reduction would continue. Arctic Putin also stressed that Russia's future was linked to the Arctic region and that to fully develop this territory, it needed to solve various environmental issues. "Russia is returning to the Arctic both from an economic point of view and from the point of view of ensuring the country's defense capability, preventing emergencies. "We will develop the infrastructure of the Emergency Ministry there. The development of the Northern Sea Route will take place, and we have already launched some major economic projects there, including in the energy sector," he said.