Russia hints plans to quit Kyoto Protocol

October 18, 2012
Russia on Thursday hinted that it may refuse to sign up to a new round of targeted carbon cuts that could see the Kyoto environmental protection treaty extended beyond its end of 2012 expiry date. "One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the Kyoto Protocol," news agencies quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, pictured on October 12, as telling a government meeting.

Russia on Thursday hinted that it may refuse to sign up to a new round of targeted carbon cuts that could see the Kyoto environmental protection treaty extended beyond its end of 2012 expiry date.

"One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the ," news agencies quoted Prime Minister as telling a government meeting.

"That does not mean that we have to try and drag it (the treaty) out any further," Medvedev added.

European diplomats at the May G8 summit in France said that Russia along with Japan and Canada had confirmed plans not to join the second round of carbon cuts.

Russia ratified the treaty in 2004. It has since argued that its terms harm .

Medvedev noted that he had said on repeated occasions in the past that "if the world community fails to agree on Kyoto, we would wave it goodbye."

He said he was thinking of extending the treaty's terms with EU nations alone.

"But considering our uneasy relations with the European Union, I am not sure how likely this scenario will be," he said.

A range of EU nations are probing Russian energy natural gas giant for price-fixing and other unfair practices under its new Energy Charter Treaty.

Medvedev did not explain his reasoning beyond the mention of Russia's failure to tap into the profits it could have earned had it sold other nations unused credits from its domestic producers.

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1.9 / 5 (9) Oct 18, 2012
Russians!!!, they're the Republicans of Eurasia :D
1 / 5 (4) Oct 18, 2012
Russia has an oil, Republican's haven't. Which is why, the Russia prospers, when the price of oil rises, whereas the Republicans will lose elections..;-) The devil's in details. The Russians never committed the Kyoto protocol anyway: it profited on it instead, because they sold their gas to another countries.
3.7 / 5 (21) Oct 18, 2012
Russia also has a lot of currently-unoccupied subarctic real estate for hot and sweaty refugees to occupy.

""One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the Kyoto Protocol", news agencies quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev"
3.5 / 5 (11) Oct 18, 2012
One has to admit that we never got any real commercial gain from the Kyoto Protocol,

Well no sh*t, Sherlock. Haven't you got the memo? The Kyoto protocol isn't about making money. It's about saving our collective behinds from extinction.

It's so frustrating to see people willingling running headlong into self-destruction (and taking us all with them) for a few dollars.
All just because some old, rich geezers the world over think: "Not in my time. And damn those who come after me!"
3.3 / 5 (10) Oct 18, 2012
Sounds like Medvedev (but really, Putin via Medvedev) is just shilling for Gazprom, using Kyoto as a strong-arm negotiating tactic to obtain relief from any consequences for monopolistic abuses.

These guys are every bit as beholden to the interests of their own financial and industrial elites and oligarchs, as the politicians in America. The pretense of democracy is just a nice fig leaf to hide the fugly reality...
3.5 / 5 (22) Oct 18, 2012
Its good to see ex-commies so concerned about the bottom line though isnt it? Heartwarming-
4.3 / 5 (6) Oct 18, 2012
It's never so much about the bottom line for the pols; it's about who gets and remains in power.

Just so happens that currently the main determinant of who has power, is support (or opposition) from the tiny percentage of the population that has managed to hoard the vast majority of the wealth (in Russia, even more so than in America.)

It's also true now, and always has been, that the "dear leaders" of communist dictatorships were always on a different plane of existence, where the bottom line mattered because they always manage to extract a share of the nation's economic output for their little personal horde. Communist regimes always have been, and still are, world-famous overachievers when it comes to corruption and kickbacks.
5 / 5 (9) Oct 18, 2012
Kyoto has been doomed since the Copenhagen environmental summit, when it became obvious that most of the world wasn't willing to spend serious money to stop global warming. Most of the countries were primarily interested in how they could benefit economically.

IMO, the only way to stop burning fossil fuels is to make it cheaper to use solar, geothermal, biomass, nuclear, etc. When a barrel of biofuel is cheaper than a barrel of gasoline, global warming will be solved. Physorg has heralded an impressive amount of research toward this goal, but so much more is required. A massive international effort involving tens of billions in research and development is much more likely to save the planet than Kyoto ever would.
3 / 5 (6) Oct 19, 2012
I don't understand the impossible burden of proof people expect from climate change. It's science not God we're talking about here. Do they expect a constant year round heat wave across the world, global rises in sea levels and air con purchases? What does it take? Maybe the humid tropical forests should dry up and burst into flames? Are they expecting some rather comical natural apocalypse?

Furthermore, people expect answers to fall into their laps. Years of research are the only way we can achieve any solutions. If people feel it is taking too long, it's not because scientists are lazy its because there aren't enough resources, jobs for scientists or machinery or laboratories or observatories. Fund for more of these and more can be done quicker. Also promote science for being the great subject that it is in schools, not some sort of secular plot!
1 / 5 (2) Oct 21, 2012
Before we try to explain everything as tragedy of commons, (or lack of education) I have the following question:

How would Russia suffer if climate become a few Celsius degrees hotter? Actually a few decades ago there had been circulating a paper in the SU concerning feasibility of warming up the climate a bit to make Siberia more habitable.

If you were responsible before Russian public opinion (including especially both former KGB and contemporary oligarchs ;) ) would you make a different decision?

EDIT: So far the best what the EU was able to achieve was reducing carbon dioxide emission by carbon leaking. We produce less dirty stuff, because all that unethical production was moved to the east and we merely import final products. How nice of us! ;)

So setting ideology aside we should rather start thinking about adaptation.
3 / 5 (2) Oct 21, 2012
Before we try to explain everything as tragedy of commons, (or lack of education) I have the following question:
The tragedy of the commons proceeds precisely along the lines of your question: with all parties acting in their own self-interest, the end-result is that all parties suffer damage in the long run.

How would Russia suffer? Well, perhaps the severe droughts and widespread summer wildfires of the last few years might begin to offer a hint? With permafrost melting, there'll be a lot of damage to arctic circle roads, bridges, and all the other cities and infrastructure that currently exists on top of all that perma-frozen ground. Mosquito (and other insect) infestations will get worse, and tropical diseases might spread northward along the way. Most of Russia's most fertile agricultural lands are in its southern reaches; the soils up north are poor in comparison. Then there are questions of general world stability and prosperity, which indirectly affect Russia also.

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