Russia Says No to Kyoto

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


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 Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate