Russia reconsiders Kyoto Protocol participation

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-10-19 9:30:22

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday Russia had received no benefit from the Kyoto Protocol and was considering leaving the environmental treaty.

"It should be admitted that we received no tangible commercial profits from Kyoto protocol, failed to use it properly," Medvedev told a government meeting on the federal environmental protection program.

The protocol is so far the world's only legally binding treaty on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. It sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and requires the European Union to slash carbon emissions to 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

"I said during my participation at various summits and forums that, if the international community could not find common ground, we'll say goodbye to this protocol," Medvedev said.

Medvedev ordered his deputy, Arkadi Dvorkovich, to thoroughly work out the options for Russia to either abandon the Kyoto Protocol or to stay in it after the end of 2012, the Kremlin press service reported.

In Russia, 150 projects aimed at energy-efficient and greenhouse gas cuts have been implemented with a total cost of more than 240 billion rubles (nearly 8 billion US dollars) by 2020.

Still, less than one third of the investment has anything to do with Russia's commitments under Kyoto, according to Russia's Sberbank.

The state-owned bank was appointed operator of a scheme to trade carbon emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

Russia, Japan and Canada have refused to join the second commitment period under the protocol, while the United States has never ratified the protocol.

The protocol, linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, was signed in December 1997 and entered into force in February 2005.

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