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© RIA Novosti. Ruslan Krivobok

Russia to leave Kyoto Protocol

by at 10/12/2012 13:45

Russia refused to endorse extended pollution limits under the Kyoto Protocol at the United Nation’s climate change conference in Doha that finished on Sunday.

The second period of the UN treaty is to start in 2015, but restrictions for Russian companies on the carbon markets are to come into force as soon as next year, Bloomberg reported.

Signed in 1997, the protocol prescribes all participating countries to reduce their emissions to a set limit and allows selling the unused Assigned Amount Units (AAU).

The world’s largest suppliers of greenhouse gases, China and India, have never entered the treaty, and the United States has never ratified it.  


Cheap ‘hot air’

The first period on the treaty expires in 2012, and over the past years Russia, Ukraine and eastern EU member states supplied the largest share of surplus AAUs to the market.

The current limits oblige Russia to keep its emissions at the level of 1990, but due to the overall slump in industrial production, the emissions were 38 percent below this level in 2000 already. In 2010, it grew by four percent, however.

The Economic Development Ministry estimated that Russian companies could have earned some 30 billion euros for selling their ‘hot air,’ as dubbed by Greenpeace.

Other estimates, however, were substantially less, Vedmosti reported this could be just $600 million, according to Vsevolod Gavrilov, head of Sberbank’s department for energy saving and environmental management projects.

The price for AAU dropped by 88 percent in 2012, due to the decrease of industrial output in Europe stricken by an economical crisis.  

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