In a December press conference, Russian President Putin's chief economic adviser told reporters, "Of course, in its present form, this protocol cannot be ratified. It is impossible to undertake responsibilities that place serious limits on the country's growth."
Under its own provisions, the Kyoto Protocol cannot take effect unless and until it gains ratification by those industrialized countries responsible for at least 55 percent of the world's total annual production of greenhouse gasses.
Russia puts out 17 percent of those emissions; the United States 36 percent, and the United States has already withdrawn former President Clinton's provisional ratification of the Protocol.
Of the 120 countries that signed the Protocol, only 50 have ratified it, and several of those countries have now indicated that they have no intention of actually complying with its provisions.
Further lessening the Kyoto Protocol's chance of ratification is the fact that nine of the world's top 20 greenhouse gas emitting nations, including China and India, would not be required to comply with the treaty's requirements to clean up their environmental acts.
Word of Russia's reluctance to ratify the Kyoto Protocol comes just as a massive new volume of research by two of America's best-known atmospheric scientists presents conclusive evidence that continued production of greenhouse gases is having a pronounced detrimental affect on our global climate.
"There is no doubt the composition of the atmosphere is changing because of human activities, and today greenhouse gases are the largest human influence on global climate," they write. "The likely result is more frequent heat waves, droughts, extreme precipitation events, and related impacts, e.g., wildfires, heat stress, vegetation changes, and sea-level rise which will be regionally dependent." (See: Study Links Human Activity to Global Climate Change)