Moscow views extension of Kyoto Protocol as inefficient in its current form

Russia will not assume new commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

"The Russian Federation considers inefficient the extension of the Kyoto Protocol in its current shape and is not planning to assume commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the so-called second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement circulated on Thursday.

"Russia's decision endorsed at the top political level is based on comprehensive analysis of the modern environmental, economic and political realities," he said.

The commitments stipulated by the current format of the Kyoto Protocol only for the developed countries cover only about 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and taking into account the possible participants in the second commitment period, this figure could drop to 15%-17%, Lukashevich said.

"Therefore, it is impossible to attain the internationally agreed-upon goal of limiting global temperature growth by 2 degrees Celsius," he said.

Russia is not against the Kyoto Protocol as such, he said.

"However, it should be taken into account that, since it was adopted in 1997, the socioeconomic characteristics of global development have changed significantly. The existing climatic regime should be modified in line with the realities of the 21st century," he said.

"Our strategic goal is proper involvement of all countries without exception, primarily the key greenhouse gas emitters, in resolving the climate problem. Therefore, Russia's efforts remain concentrated on achieving broad consensus with the aim of making the climate regime comprehensive in its essence and universal in terms of the number of its participants," Lukashevich said.

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