Russia Confirms Emissions Goal at Doha Talks

DOHA, December 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russia reaffirmed on Thursday its decision to withdraw from the second period of commitment to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, but said it would stick to its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent in the next decade.

“In 2013, our country will begin implementation of its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020, which were announced in Copenhagen and confirmed in Cancun, in the framework of the Convention,” presidential adviser on climate issues Alexander Bedritsky said on Thursday at the UN climate summit in Doha, Qatar.

“We will do it together with other developed countries whose combined share in global greenhouse gas emissions is about 30 percent,” Bedritsky said.

The Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), was first negotiated in 1997 with the goal of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

After last year’s Climate Change Conference in Durban, 35 Kyoto Protocol member states agreed to adopt a universal legal treaty on climate change by 2015 after the initial agreement expires in 2012.

Russia, Japan and Canada have already announced they will not be signing the renewal treaty in 2012.

Bedritsky said it was crucial to analyze the results of the first Kyoto period and meet all the protocol’s legal requirements concerning its implementation, in order to ensure the success of further cooperation under the Kyoto protocol.

The transfer of emission quotas accumulated during the first period into the second Kyoto period was one of these requirements, and Russia insists it should be met unconditionally, he said.

Russia is sitting on around $38 billion worth of these so-called “carbon credits.”

Ecology activists and some countries have demanded the quotas accumulated by heavy-emitters during the 1990s, when Russia suffered a period of economic stagnation, should be reduced or written off altogether.

A report circulated among more than 17,000 delegates, experts and journalists who have gathered in Doha, says a record 35.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) will be released into the atmosphere in 2012, 2.2 billion tons more than in the previous record year of 2010, mainly due to increased emissions by India and China.


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