Russian Government Gives Green Light to Global Warming Treaty

Media release - September 30, 2004
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, the Russian Parliament. If it votes in favour, the Kyoto Protocol will enter into force and become international law (2).

"The Bush Administration and its corporate cronies at Exxon have failed to stop this treaty. They are now out in the cold as the rest of the world moves forward to start tackling global warming, the greatest threat to civilization the world has ever seen," said Kert Davies, Greenpeace Research Director.

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 global warming. Unless the United States ratifies the Kyoto Protocol, the pollution reduction 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 just the beginning of a long fight. To tackle global warming 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 Davies.

Notes to Editors:

(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 29^th 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.