Diplomats from world governments are currently meeting for the latest round of negotiations on controlling climate change. The biggest news so far was a statement seeming to rule out Russia from attempts to control climate change. However it is likely the statement by a Russian economic advisor against the Kyoto Protocol on climate change was nothing more than pre-election bluster, ahead of the upcoming Moscow's Duma election. The advisor has a history of bold statements that are later contradicted by official policy.
Walrus on ice floe; Greenpeace tour investigating climate change effects, Chukchi Sea, Alaska.
A Russian economic advisor to President Putin, Andrei
Illarionov, had stated today that he believed Russia would not
ratify the Kyoto Protocol in its present form, because it placed
"significant limitations on the economic growth of Russia".
Alexey Kokorin, the head of WWF's Climate Change program in
Russia, said that Illarionov's statement is of a pre-election
political manoeuvring and did not hold any weight as to what Russia
would actually do.
"Illarionov does not speak for the President or the Russian
Government," said Kokorin. "This is just the latest statement in a
long line of predictions by Illarionov which have failed to
eventuate. He opposed the Russian energy strategy which was then
adopted in May 2003, and he poured cold water on the economic plan
for GDP growth, which was also later adopted."
"While Illarionov's opinion will sound like music to the ears of
the US administration, it's far too early to be reading the funeral
notice of the Kyoto Protocol," said Steven Guilbeault, our Climate
"The person who speaks for Russia is Vladimir Putin and not some
bureaucrat. President Putin has made numerous statements in the
past few months, reaffirming Russia would ratify."