After the Kyoto Protocol was ratified by Russia last year the Government has done little to implement the terms of the agreement or to create the
mechanism involved, according to the infuential heads of two powerful companies, Unified Energy System (UES) and Sistema. UES in June signed the
country's first Kyoto based contrat with a Danish partner, The Environmental Protection Agency but has said that deal will be cancelled if not
approved by the Russian Government by October.
A year ago, Russia's ratification of the treaty, which seeks to stabilise emissions of greenhouse gases, was greeted with jubilation by green groups,
who saw it as a key stepin battling global warming.
Unified Energy System (UES) chairman Anatoly Chubais and Sistema head Vladimir Yevtushenkov, two of Russia's most influential businessmen, have
written to Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to ask for action, the two companies said in a joint statement.
Unlike most other countries, Russia has substantial spare emissions capacity since its pollution quota was set at the 1990 level. Since then the
post-Soviet economic collapse has devastated industry and cut pollution by as much as 30 percent.
As a result, some Russian firms see Kyoto's terms, which allow companies to invest to cut greenhouse gases in another country and book emission
savings as cuts for their own country's quotas, as an easy way to gain cheap investment.
Russia is also obliged to implement mechanisms to allow market trading of pollution quotas, but is yet to do so.
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While it is one thing to sign an agreement and look like efforts are being made, it is quite another to actively implement these measures. This will
make trade suffer in the area of concern and hopefully Russia will get off it's backside and actually work to incorporate these changes. Russia has
already done much to cut it's pollution levels and greenhouse gases but more needs to be done.
What has Russian done to cut pollution. When the economy collapses, obviously, there will be less pollution. However, I don't believe
following Russia's course of action would be a wise choice for the US.
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