Skip to comments.Russian could net 10-bln-dollar windfall from Kyoto: estimate
Posted on 09/30/2004 10:41:40 PM PDT by Destro
Russian could net 10-bln-dollar windfall from Kyoto: estimate
PARIS (AFP) Sep 30, 2004
Russia could gain up to 10-billion-dollars from the Kyoto Protocol's planned market in carbon emissions, a specialist in carbon trading estimated on Thursday after the global-warming pact was approved by Moscow's cabinet.
Russia had dragged its feet for several years about whether to ratify Kyoto, amid a fierce internal debate as to whether the treaty would bring any economic benefits.
But Point Carbon, a Norway-based analysis and consultancy company, said that if Russia was astute it could reap a rich harvest by 2012, the target date set by Kyoto for trimming greenhouse-gas emissions.
"Russia could earn up to 10 billion dollars (8.0 billion euros) by developing a sales strategy and restricting supply," it said in a press release.
"[And] if an overall trading strategy is developed, involving both buying and selling rather than just a pure sales strategy, Russia stands to earn even more," it said.
The windfall would come from a planned market in which industrialised signatories can buy and sell emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) to help meet their individual targets for pollution under Kyoto.
The idea behind this is to provide a financial incentive to be clean: low-polluting countries earn a reward and high-polluting countries are penalised.
Russia is in an unusual position, because the reference date used for Kyoto is 1990.
At that time, the Soviet Union still existed, and Russian power stations and factories were notoriously energy-inefficient and spewed out CO2.
But the post-Soviet economic shakeup closed many of these dirty plants, with the result that Russia's CO2 emissions today are 30 percent below 1990 levels.
As Russia's Kyoto target is a zero increase in emissions over 1990, that means it should have lots of emissions to sell.
Russia's doubts over Kyoto were sown when the United States, under President George W. Bush, walked away from the pact in 2001.
At a stroke, that deprived Kyoto of the world's biggest carbon polluter and the biggest potential buyer in the carbon market, thus stoking the risk that the trading price for CO2 would be so low that Russian gains would be negligible.
Just because they sign it, who says they have to abide by it....
I made that point to somewhere.