A decisive step taken by Russia for the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol

On September 30, 2004, the Russian government declared that it had approved the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and that the bill was going to be submitted for agreement to the duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament. This is a decisive step, as it will allow the entry into force of this text within 3 months of the official ratification from Russia. The Kyoto Protocol, concluded in 1997, aims to reduce by at least 5% greenhouse gas emissions during the period 2008-2012 compared with their levels in 1990. Among the 6 greenhouse gases concerned by the Kyoto Protocol are HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), commonly used in the refrigeration sector. Yet, to enter into force, the Protocol must be ratified by at least 55 countries in Annex I of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), i.e. developed countries, representing, in 1990, at least 55% of CO2 emissions. Taking into account the rejection of the Kyoto Protocol by the United States, this level cannot be reached without the Russian signature. The decision taken by the Russian government was welcomed by the Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, and by many countries. Kofi Annan seized this opportunity to "remind the entire international community of the need to bring a greater sense of urgency to this crucial issue of human security and well-being, and hailed this move, since the Protocol's entry into force would be the essential first step in tackling the planetary challenge posed by climate change". This decision taken by Russia occurs just over 3 months before the 10th UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP-10), which will be held in Buenos Aires (Argentina) on December 6-17, 2004 and attended by the IIR. Sources: News on: www.elysee.fr, www.un.org, www.lexpansion.com and china radio international.