Russia Says No to Kyoto

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Japan’s been the bad guy in Cancun for the past week and a half, after the country took a firm stance against agreeing to a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol. Japan argues that it wants a new global deal, one that includes big emitters like the US and China, and will not consent to extending its commitment under the 13-year-old treaty, whose first round of commitments is set to expire in 2012. But on Thursday night, Russia formally joined Japan in that stance.

Here’s an excerpt of the prepared remarks from Alexander Bedritsky, Russia’s special envoy for climate, from the Thursday night plenary:

“Russia has repeatedly stated, including at the highest political level, that the adoption of commitments for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, as it stands now, would be neither scientifically, economically nor politically effective … Russia will not participate in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Well, you don’t get much more clear than that. Everyone here knew that Russia and Canada were not very enthusiastic about a second commitment period, but Russia made it’s unwillingness quite apparent tonight.

Bedritsky did note, however, that it would be “judicious to continue to use Kyoto Protocol mechanisms, including in a new agreement.” He also said that Russia supports listing new commitments in a successor global deal and intends to hold itself to the pledge it made in Copenhagen last year to cut emissions 15 to 25 percent below 1990 by 2020.

The fate of Kyoto remains a major rub here in Cancun, as leader head into the final day of negotiations on Friday. Developing countries have insisted that they need a second period for what is currently the only legally binding global agreement on climate, but it looks like extending it is a deal-breaker for at least a few countries as well.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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