Issue Date: October 4, 2004
Russian Cabinet approves Kyoto protocol
On Sept. 30, the Russian Cabinet approved the Kyoto protocol on climate change and sent the treaty to parliament--the Duma--for ratification. The Duma, which is dominated by the Kremlin-directed United Russia Party, is expected to ratify the treaty easily. To enter into force, the protocol must be ratified by 55 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including developed countries whose combined 1990 emissions of CO2 exceed 55% of that group's total. Since the U.S., with 36% of 1990 emissions, does not intend to ratify the accord, it is essential for Russia, with 17% of emissions, to ratify it in order for the treaty to go into effect. "President Putin's leadership in asking the Duma to support the protocol sends an inspiring signal to the international community," UNFCCC Executive Secretary Joke Waller-Hunter says. The protocol contains legally binding targets for 36 industrialized countries, which are required to reduce their collective emissions 5% by 2012 compared with 1990 levels.
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