Russia not to ratify Kyoto Protocol

Russia will not ratify the UN Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gases in its present form.

    Greenhouse gases trap the sun's heat instead of letting it escape

    A top Kremlin adviser in Moscow said on Tuesday that the Protocol in the current form placed "significant limitations" on the country's economic development.


    “In its current form, the Kyoto protocol places significant limitations on the economic growth of Russia," Andrei Illarionov, Vladimir Putin's chief advisor on economic issues, said.


    "Of course, in its present form, this protocol cannot be ratified," he said.


    Russian ratification of the 1997 Kyoto accord is needed to bring it into force worldwide, but since indicating at a world summit in 2002 that it would probably ratify the accord, it has sent mixed signals on the issue.




    Meanwhile, the European Commission in Brussels warned that the EU was falling short of targets set to cut greenhouse gases in the UN Kyoto Protocol.


    It must come up with new measures urgently to redress the situation, the Commission warned on Tuesday.


    After doing a good job for a decade after 1990, European Union countries had allowed emissions of gases blamed for warming the climate to rise again in 2000 and 2001, the Commission said.


    It warned that unless reversed, the trend meant the EU - the biggest defender of the Kyoto accord - would miss its target to trim greenhouse gas emissions by 8% of 1990 levels by 2008-2012.


    “In its current form, the Kyoto protocol places significant limitations on the economic growth of Russia"

    Andrei Illarionov,
    Chief adviser on economic issues, Russia

    The European Environment Agency (EEA) said the biggest factor to blame for the EU's relapse was "a runaway increase in emissions from transport, especially road transport".


    On current trends the EU would cut its emissions of climate-warming gases by just 0.5% from 1990 levels, both the EEA and the EC said in separate reports.


    Additional measures


    Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom said she had written to all 15 EU governments to urge them to identify additional measures they intend to take to meet the Kyoto targets.


    The reports coincided with a meeting in Milan of signatories to Kyoto's parent treaty, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is scheduled to run until 12 December.


    The United States remains part of the UNFCCC, although it has abandoned Kyoto. Russia has yet to ratify the 1997 protocol, and its backing is essential for the agreement to come into force. That prospect grew dimmer on Tuesday when a senior Kremlin official said Russia would not support the protocol in its present form.


    Greenhouse gases are blamed for trapping the sun's heat rather than let it radiate safely out into space.


    Scientists conclude that this is stoking a gradual rise in the earth's surface temperature that will have lasting effects on the planet's delicate climate mechanism.



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