Russia's chief climate negotiator said the country will "never" sign up to extend the Kyoto Protocol for a second implementation period, casting further doubt on chances of a deal at the international climate conference in South Africa at the end of this month.
"We will never sign Kyoto 2 because it would not cover every country," Oleg Shamanov, director of international cooperation on the environment at the Foreign Ministry, said late last week....Essentially, Russia does not see any benefits in a legally binding consensus unless "everybody signs."
That is "not going to happen," David Burwell, head of the energy and climate program at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, said at the meeting in Moscow attended by Shamanov on Thursday evening. "Quite frankly, the best way to be a leader is not to push for a legally binding consensus," he said in remarks apparently designed to defend the U.S. position.
But the main element in climate talks is "directing giant cash flows from rich countries to developing nations," said Alexei Kokorin, director of the climate change and energy program at WWF Russia. "Russia is neither a recipient nor a great contributor, it is not as important as some other countries," he added.
As such, Kokorin concedes that the chances of renewing Kyoto are effectively nil, but was not deeply critical of the Russian position — singling out instead India, China and the oil-producing Middle Eastern countries as the main obstacles to a deal.