Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol (pdf) was adopted in Kyoto in 1997 at the Third Conference of the Parties (COP-3) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a supplement to the Convention. Еру Kyoto Protocol provides quotas for greenhouse gas emissions for different states. This Protocol has been ratified by 181 States the world (collectively responsible for more than 61% of global greenhouse gas emissions).

The aim of the Kyoto Protocol is to limit anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The Kyoto Protocol has a number of international mechanisms, which determine the co-operation of countries in action to combat climate change.

The Kyoto Protocol ends December 31, 2012. Therefore, the work has been carried out for several years on the possibility of its extension or a new agreement to replace it. In particular, talks about the new agreement took place at the COP-14 in 2008 in Poznań, COP-15 in 2009 in Copenhagen, and COP-16 in Cancun (Mexico) in December 2010. However, the international community failed to reach the agreement so far because of irreconcilable contradictions between developed and developing countries. But the future of the Kyoto Protocol emergency is important for humanity, because the problem of global climate change is common and extremely serious for all countries.

On the last day of Lima climate talks, Russia held an event titled ‘Goals and Objectives of the Russian Climate Policy up to 2020 and Prospects for 2030’. The same day Russia along with Ukraine and Belarus received the Fossil of the Day public anti-award for unconstructive behavior during the negotiations.

“The procedural issue which had undermined last June efforts of one of the working groups at the climate negotiations in Bonn, has been once again included in the agenda of a higher level negotiations: the UN Conference in Warsaw. Observers of the climate negotiations hope that Russia and Belarus’s proposal will not create obstacles for the negotiations as was the case in the previous session.

International experts believe that Russia would be a welcome member of the carbon market, if it changes its pride of unused emissions for modern ambitions.

Draft amendments to the Government Decree "On Measures for Implementation of Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol ..." proposed by the Ministry of Nature Resources removes restrictions on issuing emission reductions in an already registered projects. Despite the non-participation of Russia in the second period of the Kyoto Protocol and the absence of new joint implementation projects in this country, business aims to increase the capacity of existing opportunities, and bankers do not deny the emergence of new opportunities for creation of a carbon market.

The main justified expectation of the UN climate conference in Doha was the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol that extended its time period. Continuing to keep the intrigue, Russia did not quit the Protocol, but will participate without obligation. According to the presidential adviser Alexander Bedritsky, the value of this participation is in "the system of annual reporting on emissions" ...

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the Climate Forum in Doha that he will bring together world leaders in advance for negotiating the agreement of 2015, because he is afraid of a repetition of Copenhagen. What should be the climate process in the future and what place may Russia take in it?

Several analytical agencies included Russia in the list of countries consistently claiming for leadership in greenhouse gas emissions. According to representatives of environmental organisations, Russia risks becoming an outsider, if it remains the country of raw materials.

Climate Change Performance Index was presented 3rd of December in Doha by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network-Europe. According to this Index Russian Federation is on the 56th place among 58 biggest emitters worldwide. The latest information about Russia's intention to declare the goal of 15-25% emissions reduction by 2020 indicates low ambitions, and partly explains the fact that our country is at the end of the rating.

On December the 4th during the COP18 taking place in Doha, Qatar, NGOs held a series of actions, asking the governments to solve the issue of a gigantic surplus of Kyoto emission permits (AAUs). At the moment the volume of this so-called hot air is about 13 gigatons. Russia is held accountable for around 5 of them, and it has not even announced its emissions reduction targets.

There is a vast surplus of units in Kyoto's cap-and-trade system. Russia and Ukraine spoke in favor of the carry-over of AAUs to the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol (KP2) and beyond. If no solution for the carry-over of this surplus from commitment period to commitment period is found, countries that have put forward a target for KP2 may be under no pressure to deviate from business-as-usual emissions.