Russian Duma Votes for Ratification of Kyoto Protocol

On October 22nd, Environmental Defense president Fred Krupp called the vote by the Russian Duma to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change "historic". Russian ratification will mean that the Protocol will take effect early next year, without the United States. "Responsible nations are stepping up to protect our planet by cutting greenhouse gas pollution under the Kyoto Protocol. This challenges the U.S. to reject its policy of environmental isolationism and address the global warming problem," said Krupp.

"Russia's ratification will bring into force a landmark international treaty under which for the first time nations will work together to safeguard Earth's climate and our children's future," Krupp said. The Protocol has been ratified by over 125 nations, and will take effect about 90 days after Russian ratification. The Bush Administration withdrew from the treaty in 2001.

"Russian ratification will mark the start of a new international negotiation, with Kyoto Parties -including Russia and all major developing countries. The U.S. must now engage in a critical dialogue over how the Kyoto Protocol can spur greenhouse gas pollution cuts in developing countries while boosting cleaner energy. These talks will involve all the large economies of the world and President Putin has now assured himself a leading role at the negotiations," said Peter C. Goldmark, Jr., director of Environmental Defense's Climate and Air Program.

"Ratification will be good news for Russia's economic health and public health," said Alexander Golub, Environmental Defense senior economist. "Participating in Kyoto will help Russia accelerate cleaner economic growth."

Russia's ratification launches the Kyoto Protocol's global market for trading reductions in emissions of the greenhouse gas pollution contributing to climate change. In that market, those who come up with better, cheaper, faster ways to cut greenhouse gas pollution will be able to sell pollution reductions to others who find it more costly to make reductions. This market-based approach has a proven track record showing that nations and businesses can meet the targets for greenhouse gas pollution cuts in an extremely cost-effective manner. "Russian policy-makers understand that participating in Kyoto's emissions trading market can help attract new investment to make the country's energy infrastructure more efficient and less polluting," said Dan Dudek, Environmental Defense chief economist. ",”

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