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  Environment treaty to become law
Updated 30 September 2004, 18.28

The Russian government has approved an important environmental agreement that could mean fewer greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.

The Kyoto Treaty was set up eight years ago with the aim of making countries cut down on the gases which many scientists think cause global warming.

This includes fumes from power stations, factories and car exhausts.

Russia is now likely to sign the agreement, meaning enough countries will have signed for it to become law.

US pulled out

Russia's President Putin
Russia's President Putin
Until now 120 countries, including the UK, which approved the agreement, have been trying to limit the pollution they generate.

Once Russia officially signs up any country that does not keep to the agreement will be breaking international law.

But environmental groups are unhappy because in 2001 the world's biggest polluter, the USA, pulled out of the agreement.

US President George Bush said the US couldn't afford to keep to the strict rules.

Environmental groups say that unless the US changes its mind and signs up to Kyoto, greenhouse gases will continue to be a huge problem.

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