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Russian official says prolongation of Kyoto Protocol ineffective

The prolongation of the Kyoto Protocol on the reduction of carbon emissions, which expires in 2012, will be ineffective, the head of the Russian hydrometeorology service said.

Speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York, which hosted a one-day summit on climate change Monday, Alexander Bedritsky said: “Samples prove that the Kyoto Protocol is imperfect, and its prolongation in its existing form for the coming periods of cooperation will be ineffective.” The Kyoto Protocol obliges the 35 industrial states that have ratified the document to cut emissions by 5% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The United States, a major polluter, has pulled out from the protocol, saying this could damage its economy. Developed and developing countries have been locked in a dispute over who should bear the main burden of carbon emission restrictions.

The head of the Russian federal service added that despite obligations assumed by a number of countries, carbon emissions, blamed for global warming, continue to increase in most industrially developed countries, as well as in countries with developing economies. “The reality of the situation in a number of developed countries does not correspond with the dynamics of assumed obligations on the stabilization and reduction of emissions,” he said.

The one-day summit, held ahead of the annual climate treaty conference in the Indonesian island of Bali in December, was attended by representatives of 150 countries, including more than 70 heads of state. Speaking at the closing of the summit, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the world to cut carbon emissions by half by 2050 to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius during this period. He said this initiative should be officially set out in the global agreement to be discussed at the annual climate treaty conference in Bali. Extreme weather conditions gripped Europe this summer, with severe floods in the United Kingdom, and forest fires sweeping across the Balkans and other parts of southern Europe. (