Monday

20th Feb 2017

Russia stalls on Kyoto commitments

Russia has caused consternation in the EU by stalling its decision about whether to sign the international treaty on climate change, the Kyoto Protocol.

"The Russian government is meticulously examining this question and is studying all of the difficult problems associated with it", said Russian President Vladimir Putin at the opening of an international conference in Moscow yesterday (29 September).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"The decision will be taken at the end of this work and in conformity with Russia's national interests", he told the over one thousand gathered experts, according to news agency reports.

Moscow's signature is crucial for the Kyoto Protocol to come into effect. The international treaty, signed in 1997, needs countries responsible for at least 55% of greenhouse gas emissions to sign up.

Russia's signature would mean this threshold would be crossed.

European Commission spokesman Reijo Kempinnen said, "we still do hope that Russia will ratify the Kyoto protocol as soon as possible".

French President Jacques Chirac has also exerted pressure on Mr Putin to sign.

"[Ratification] would indicate Russia's determination to assume all the responsibilities of a great modern country for future generations", Mr Chirac said in a letter, according to reports on Yahoo.

"[Mr] Putin's words mean that at the moment Russia does not consent to the application of the treaty", said Corrado Clini, on behalf of Italy, the current holders of the EU presidency.

The Italian environment ministry's director general went on to say, according to Ansa, that this means the EU must "negotiate more dynamically".

The headline goal of the Protocol, to which the US is not a signatory, is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eight percent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.

Agenda

Pence, Greece and Brexit This WEEK

The US vice-president becomes the first senior Trump administration official to visit EU institutions. Greece's creditors try to break deadlock in talks, and British Lords will debate Brexit.

Analysis

Why Romania erupted in protest

Current anger over corruption laws can be traced back to a night-club fire in 2015, when many died because of lax safety standards. Romanians then realised that corruption can kill.

Opinion

The need for global cooperation in stopping Iran

Although Trump said he would tear up the Iran Nuclear Agreement, the new administration seems to want to work on a new policy toward Iran. Let's hope European leaders will respond in kind to this approach.

Analysis

Why Romania erupted in protest

Current anger over corruption laws can be traced back to a night-club fire in 2015, when many died because of lax safety standards. Romanians then realised that corruption can kill.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  3. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  4. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  5. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe
  7. Salzburg Global SeminarToward a Shared Culture of Health: Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship
  8. European Free AllianceAustria Should Preserve & Promote Bilingual and Multinational Carinthia
  9. Martens CentreShow Your Love for Democracy! Take Part in Our Contest: "If It's Broken, Let's Fix It"
  10. CISPECloud Computing Leaders Establish Data Protection Standards to Protect Customer Data
  11. Malta EU 2017Landmark Deal Reached With European Parliament on Portability of Online Content
  12. Belgrade Security ForumBSF 2017: Building a Common Future in the Age of Uncertainty