By: Clifford Polycarp

10th climate change meet shows how weak the will to combat global warming has become

with Russia's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, the treaty to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is back on track. But, what collective action can be expected in the future to combat climate change? At the Tenth Conference of Parties (cop-10) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (unfccc) held December 6-17, 2004, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the resounding answer was: none. Political will for concerted global solutions has seriously waned. Countries, it now seems, prefer vague strategy: not just the US-- customarily associated with such statements -- but other key countries, including Russia, and even Italy, now suggest that future commitments to cut GHG emissions be on a 'voluntary basis'.

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Who's afraid of the Kyoto Protocol?

Date: Jun 30, 2004

Russian president Putin?

RUSSIA is to support the Kyoto Protocol, now President Putin says. He's said it before, and not supported it. The latest statement may therefore be some more 'hot air', but it did come in a context where Russia's nod for the protocol was the currency of an attractive deal with its main trading ally, the European Union (EU), on World Trade Organization (WTO) membership. The EU withdrew its demand that Russia increase its internal energy prices to accede to WTO, and Putin waxed eloquent at the EU-Russia summit held at the Kremlin, Moscow, on May 21.

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