18th Sep 2019

Putin agrees to ratify Kyoto

  • The Kyoto Protocol will come into force worldwide 90 days after Moscow's ratification finishes (Photo: NATO)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, paving the way for the world-wide implementation of the agreement.

Mr Putin's cabinet today (30 September) recommended that Russia should fully adopt the text, which aims at combating global warming.

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The Duma, the Russian Parliament, will now have to give its approval, but with Mr Putin's backers holding a large majority in the house, the Protocol is expected to be given the go ahead.

Green groups are pushing the Duma to do this as quickly as possible in order to bring the agreement into force.

Approval by the Duma would introduce stringent emissions targets, possibly within months.

Industrialised signatories to the Protocol resolved to cut 1990 levels of Carbon Dioxide and other Greenhouse gases by at least 5% by 2008 - 2012.

The EU agreed to an eight percent cut.

European diplomacy

Since the US pulled out of the agreement in 2001, supporters have struggled to reach the threshold necessary for the Protocol to come into force ­- 55 countries accounting for at least 55% of the global gas emissions in 1990.

A European Commission spokesperson "warmly welcomed" the Russian government's decision, hoping it would "increase awareness" that the Kyoto Protocol is extremely important.

The EU had been pressing hard for Russia to ratify the text, and Moscow is likely to see augmented support for its bid to become a member of the WTO for doing so.

Barbara Unmüssig President of the Berlin-based Heinrich Böll Foundation told the EUobserver: "I think that the EU was very busy convincing Russia, this is a big success for European negotiators".

"It is very much linked with negotiations to join the WTO", she added "it is not clear what the deal is, this has to be studied".

However, Ms Unmüssig issued a word of caution: "The Russian government very much ties the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol with the increase in nuclear energy... this is a big concern".

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