Russia Still Undecided on Kyoto Protocol

Russia still has not decided whether to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, President Vladimir Putin said today. The nation has the power to make or break the climate-change treaty, which cannot go into effect until it is ratified by nations accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions. The treaty would likely be a good deal for Russia because the nation’s emissions are already below the required levels, thanks to the industrial collapse that followed the breakup of the Soviet Union; this means Russia could sell emissions credits to nations that have trouble meeting their Kyoto targets. A clause in the treaty that lets countries avoid cutting their own emissions if they invest in clean technologies abroad is also likely to benefit Russia by bringing in foreign investment. Still, a top Kremlin official said last week that the government wants guarantees of these benefits, a prospect that European officials have ruled out.