Russian Industries Back Kyoto Protocol

Here’s an unlikely ally in the battle to combat global climate change: industrial polluters. A number of Russia’s largest gas and electric companies, steel mills, and metal smelters have begun lobbying their government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty on climate change. The companies are so interested in getting their hands on what could amount to billions of dollars in foreign investment and emissions credits that they are even offering to help pay to administer Kyoto-related programs if the government ratifies the treaty. One expert estimates that Russian businesses could attract $1.2 billion per year in joint investment and sell up to $800 million in credits within the first three or four months of implementing the protocol. Russia has spent more than a year deliberating over whether to ratify the protocol, which cannot go into effect without its participation.