Russia hints at plans to quit Kyoto

2012-10-18 19:10
Greenpeace activists perform above an underwater art museum in Cancún to draw attention to the risk for millions of people living in coastal areas. (Jason Taylor, Greenpeace, AP)

Greenpeace activists perform above an underwater art museum in Cancún to draw attention to the risk for millions of people living in coastal areas. (Jason Taylor, Greenpeace, AP)

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Moscow - 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 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 developing nations.

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 Gazprom 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 carbon emission credits from its domestic producers.
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