10 January 2011, 15:55

Russia breaks the ice on Kyoto

Russia breaks the ice on Kyoto
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Russia has sold quotas on noxious and green-house emissions, for the first time since the coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol.

Russia has sold quotas on noxious and green-house emissions, for the first time since the coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol. Japan’s Mitsubishi and Nippon Oil have purchased quotas on 290 thousand tons of green-houses gases from the Russian “Gazprom Neft”.

The Kyoto Protocol became the first globally signed agreement to protect the environment against greenhouse gases. The activity of man is one of the causes of global warming, and global warming is largely to blame for droughts, floods and hurricanes. Under the Kyoto Protocol, countries can reduce greenhouse emissions through so-called “green” investments, when foreign investors finance projects to boost energy efficiency, or they can sell quotas. In case of “green” investments, the reduction is ascribed to the investing party. This was the case with the sale of Russian quotas to Japan. Japanese companies financed the development of three Russian oil-fields thereby radically reducing petroleum gas emissions into the atmosphere.

President Medvedev sees a reduction in green-house emissions as one of the priority issues on the country’s economic agenda. A Voice of Russia correspondent asked the opinion of Boris Profiriyev, an employee with the Institute of Economic Analysis.

"Russia has broken the ice by selling quotas to Japan. Besides, Russia has stockpiled on quotas and desperately needs revamping its own economy, the energy sector in particular. Projects of this kind could yield Russia 2-2,5 billion dollars a year. Russia’s Economic Development Ministry and Sberbank, which monitor this process, have approved about one hundred emissions-related projects."

Unlike Russia, other signatories to the Kyoto Protocol are in no hurry to act on their commitments. Opposition from other countries disrupted the signing of new climate agreements on Copenhagen and Cancun summits. But Nature, as we see from the calamities of late, does not tolerate disregard and neglect on the part of humanity.

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