BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Russia gives Kyoto kiss of life
Russian nickel factory
Russia is the world's third worst polluter
Russia is planning to ratify the Kyoto treaty on global warming soon, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has confirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development.


We consider that ratification will take place in the very nearest future

Mikhail Kasyanov
Russian PM
Russia's backing would mean that enough big producers of greenhouse gases have signed up to bring the treaty into effect.

The treaty received a massive blow when the United States - the world's biggest polluter - pulled out under the presidency of George W Bush.

The ratification promise by Russia - the third biggest polluter - gives the ailing treaty the kiss of life.

Russian PM Mikhail Kasyanov
Kasyanov: Promises action soon
"Russia has signed the Kyoto Protocol and we are now preparing its ratification," Mr Kasyanov's told delegates at the summit in Johannesburg to warm applause.

"We consider that ratification will take place in the very nearest future."

The treaty needs a majority of greenhouse gas producers - responsible for 55% of 1990 worldwide carbon emissions - to sign up before it can be implemented.

Russia's involvement would take it past that level, even without the US.

The 1990 figures showed the US producing 36% of carbon emissions, and Russia 17%.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in April that his country would ratify Kyoto.

Windfall

However, a final review of costs and benefits was taking place over the summer, with opponents claiming the treaty might hinder Russia's economic development.

But the benefits could be enormous.

Russia expects its carbon emissions to be down by 20% from 1990 levels when Kyoto comes into force in 2008 - meaning it would then be able to sell carbon pollution "credits", bringing a potential windfall of tens of billions of dollars.


Confirmation by Russia is good news for the climate and brings us that bit closer to ratification of the Kyoto protocol this year

Gordon Shepherd
WWF International
Russia would be able to use this money to modernise its energy-intensive industries.

However, Russia would have first to prove that its emissions levels for 1990 were accurate. If it cannot do this, experts say, the bonanza will not materialise.

Russia's announcement was welcomed by environmental campaigners.

"Confirmation by Russia is good news for the climate and brings us that bit closer to ratification of the Kyoto protocol this year," Gordon Shepherd of World Wildlife Fund International told BBC News Online.

"Only Russia and Canada are needed to enable the protocol to enter into force."

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien told the summit his country's parliament would vote on ratification before the end of the year.

The US has been unmoved by the welter of criticism it has received since pulling out. President Bush argues that US business interests would be harmed by the treaty.

Chinese backing

China has also proclaimed its support for the protocol, with Prime Minister Zhu Rongji telling delegates at the World Summit that the government had completed the domestic phase of its path to adopting the treaty.

"I would like to announce hereby that the Chinese Government has ratified the Kyoto protocol," Mr Zhu was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

China, as a developing nation, is not bound by the goals for restraining carbon dioxide emissions laid out in the Kyoto agreement, but Chinese support is crucial for its survival.

It is the world's second-largest producer of carbon dioxide emissions - and the US has long cited China as one reason why it will not ratify the deal.

"China hopes that other developed countries will ratify or approve the protocol as soon as possible so as to enable it to enter into force within this year," Mr Zhu added.


Key stories

SPECIAL REPORT

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

03 Sep 02 | Europe
03 Sep 02 | Africa
03 Sep 02 | Africa
29 Aug 02 | Africa
02 Sep 02 | Africa
02 Sep 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes