Greenpeace welcomed the news that the Russian Government has given the green light to the climate change treaty, the Kyoto Protocol today (1).
The final decision on whether Russia will ratify the treaty now
rests with the Duma. If it votes in favour, the Kyoto Protocol will
enter into force and become international law (2).
"As the Earth is battered by increasing storms, floods and
droughts, President Putin has brought us to a pivotal point in
human history. We are now on the brink of securing the Kyoto
Protocol. The Bush Administration is out in the cold and the rest
of the world can move forward as one to start tackling climate
change, the greatest threat to civilisation the world has ever
seen," said Greenpeace International climate campaigner, Steve
The United States of America emits one fifth of the world's
greenhouse gases, yet the Bush Administration has refused to
support efforts to combat climate change. Unless the United States
ratifies the Kyoto Protocol, the targets will not be fully
achieved. The largest contributor to greenhouse gases is carbon
dioxide, emitted when coal, oil and gas are burned.
"The Kyoto Protocol is an important first step but we've still a
long way to go. To tackle climate change we must stop relying on
oil, coal and gas to meet our energy needs and urgently redirect
our investment into safer, clean sources of energy such as wind,
wave and solar power. We must also use our energy more
efficiently," concluded Sawyer.
Notes: (1) The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the first global response to tackling global warming. As of July 29th 2004, the treaty had been ratified by 124 countries.Under the Kyoto Protocol, industralised countries, responsible for 55 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, are bound to cut emissions of a basket of six greenhouse gases by just over 5% for the period 2008-2012.(2) If the Russian Duma votes in favour of the Kyoto Protocol, Russia will then submit an instrument of ratification the United Nations in New York. Ninety days after the submission, the Kyoto Protocol will become international law.