Monday, December 01, 2003

The Kyoto agreement was dealt an unexpected blow or two in the last month, from Russia, casting a shadow on this week's discussions in Milan. I'm behind on this news but, intrigued, I spent some time trying to figure out exactly who said what. A condemnation from Putin could in fact trigger support in many other places depending on how poorly it was worded. Instead, the Russian opposition seems broad but reasonable: Putin mostly complains that Kyoto won't work, and would "doom Russia to poverty, weakness and backwardness" (ref). In some places Russia's recent response is described as "Russian officials’ outright rejection of the global warming theory" (ref), but that seems to be exaggeration because this article has more detail indicating that the head of RAS only described the "theory of rapid, catastrophic global warming" as inaccurate. However, Russia hasn't definitively said no - this could be pre-election posturing for the Russian public, and Russia could still sign on after the elections.

Seablogger has a good post on the event, including notes on the difficulty of agreeing that Kyoto is good even if we all agree that global warming exists.

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