Greenpeace today highlighted Russian president Vladimir Putin's missed opportunity to make history by not announcing when Russia will ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Putin was addressing participants in the 2003 World Climate Change Conference held in Moscow this week.
Banner in Russian and English demands Putin ratify Kyoto Treaty
In the face of mounting evidence regarding the impacts of
climate change on the planet, the silence of President Putin on
Russian ratification puts the world at further risk, contends
"President Putin has had more than 3 years to analyse how Kyoto
could be implemented in Russia, and his stalling could now derail
the entire process," said Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace. "Russia
can play a leading role in helping solve the problem of climate
change or it can choose to side with George Bush."
Since the Bush Administration decided to pull out of the
agreement in 2001, only with Russian ratification can the 1997
Protocol enter into force.
During the 2002 Earth Summit, Russian Prime Minister Kasyanov
said that Russia would ratify "soon", a commitment that was later
confirmed by President Putin. However, since then, the Russian
ratification process has been mired in the intricacies of Russian
politics with anti-Kyoto forces like Economic Development and Trade
Minister Gref having a field day in the face of Putin's hesitation
to ratify the agreement.
"All is ready for Russian ratification," Guilbeault added. "An
additional amendment for the Russian legislation process has
already been agreed this September by an inter-ministerial group
headed by Vice-Prime Minister Khrastenko. Everything is in
President Putin's hands. He has a political, economic and
environmental responsibility not just to Russia, but to the world,"