Statement by Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), following the decision by the Russian Duma to Ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change
Nairobi, 22 October 2004 - “ The fight against climate change has been under starters orders for far too long. But it is finally out of the blocks and running as a result of this very welcome decision to ratify by the Russian Parliament,” said Mr Toepfer, who earlier this year expressed confidence that Russia would finally come on board.
“The winning tape, in other words the goal of stabilizing the climate and securing the stability of the planet, is however a long way off and we must now re-double efforts to deliver the even deeper cuts in emissions needed,” he added.
“This long term effort must also consider the role developing countries could play, especially those rapidly developing countries whose emissions are growing. Needless to this involvement should only happen under the Rio Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities,” he added.
“The United States has declined to ratify Kyoto, but we must keep the dialogue open so that this key country can hear, and hopefully be eventually won over, to the sound argument that combating climate change makes both environmental and economic sense,” said Mr Toepfer.
“The notion that nothing is happen in the United States to address climate change is a myth. Around 20 states there are adopting or have adopted strategies to reduce emissions. There is also a great deal of interest and activity within American business and industry to develop new, more efficient energy systems and to participate in the new global trading emission trading mechanisms that are being developed as a result of Kyoto,” he added.