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Russia signs the Kyoto Climate Change Treaty

Submitted by on 5/11/04 – 12:00No Comment

kyoto_putinThe Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the UN’s Kyoto treaty on climate change on 5th November, one week after his compliant Duma voted to ratify the agreement.

The treaty had been previously held up legally awaiting either the US or Russia to ratify it intended to cut the global pollution which is causing global warming of the world’s atmosphere.

Kremlin officials in Moscow indicated that they feel the treaty will become effective in Russia in 3 months time.

Now approved by 126 countries, the treaty can now come into force early next year after the Russians file acceptance with the UN.

The Kyoto Treaty was originally adopted by a UN conference back in 1997, however the US, the world’s number-one emitter of greenhouse gases contributing up to 36% of all pollution, withdrew out in 2001 under President Bush. This meant the treaty’s legality was dependent on Russia.

The agreement commits the developed nations of the world to cut overall pollution of carbon dioxide by 5.2% below those levels of 1990 by 2008-12, by reducing the use of coal, oil and natural gas while introducing clean renewable energy sources like solar and wind power.

To come into force, the it needed to be ratified by countries accounting for at least 55 percent of developed nations’ greenhouse gas emissions. Russia accounts for 17 percent of world emissions.

Russian acceptance of the treaty was not entirely altruistic. Many leading Russian scientists promoted a skeptical line that there was no evidence linking greenhouse gasses to climate change. The Russian government was also anxious about the economic costs of the treaty on the growing Russian economy. Ratification was possible after an EU agreement on conditions for Moscow’s admission to the World Trade Organisation.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
President of Russia official website

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