Feb 20, 2004 10:56 am


It would be easy to miss the fact that the US is not the only big country blocking Kyoto. Russia is another. Here is its reasoning:

Kyoto protocol may cause catastrophic damage to Russia

MOSCOW, February 19 (Itar-Tass) - A future economic damage to the Russian economy from the ratification of the Kyoto protocol may prove catastrophic, Russian presidential economics adviser Andrei Illarionov has told Tass.

“Should we put our signature to and ratify this document, we may well give up the hope of ever becoming a world economic power,” Illarionov said.

He believes that neither of the two development scenarios being considered under the Kyoto protocol will allow the Russian economy to develop normally.

“If a decision is made, Russia must reduce the emission of carbon dioxide by 2050 to about 700 million tonnes a year, we shall be unable to effectively develop our industries. The proposed limit is tantamount to a mere 58 percent of the 1998 level, when our economy was in deep recession and its performance was the worst,” Illarionov said.

If that is the case, Russia, which is now what Illarionov described as an “economic teenager”, will be turned into an “economic dwarf.”

“If our quotas are not reduced, we shall promptly exhaust them. In that case economic growth will be stalled anyway,” Illarionov said. He said it was very unlikely Russia would ever be able to sell its carbon dioxide emission quotas to other countries.

“Once we have done that, we shall run out of quotas virtually in no time,” Illarionov said.

This, of course, is also true about the true developing economic giants - China and India with whom Kyoto fails to deal. The real answer should be clean technologies. I believe developing environmentally friendly techonologies is part of Japanese strategic planning. Let's hope the results are not far off.

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