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Greenhouse Economic Effect
June 13, 2007 17:29

Lots of issues including Russia – the USA complicated relations were discussed at G8 summit in Germany, but the question of the greenhouse effect taken for unimportant for many years appeared to be one of the most disputable. The parties agreed that so-called post-Kyoto agreements implying double reduction of emissions by 2050 should be worked out. In 2013, as soon as the Kyoto protocol is no longer valid, Germany is going to put forward an initiative of an agreement on global 30% cut of CO2 emissions by 2020. The document is supposed to be ready at the end of 2007 and accepted by the UN in 2009, when President Bush is due to resign.

The USA is known as the main opponent of the post-Kyoto plan; in 2001 the country withdrew from the treaty. They say it is impossible to reduce CO2 emissions caused by the American enterprises, as millions of people may lose jobs in this case. From the first sight such behavior seems selfish, as the USA, the leading economy of the world, produces the major part of greenhouse gases and, if ecologists are right, makes all the world human community suffer from gradually rising temperatures and other climate changes.

 Russia is one of the countries, which signed the protocol. As a matter of fact, its economy is now booming but all Russian enterprises don’t produce a volume of greenhouses gases equitable with quotas established by the protocol for Russia. The government can even trade in the air and will probably start it (the respective document may well come into force summer 2007), as profitable deals and development are considered to be more important than the condition of the environment we live in.

Anyway, there are a lot of experts who have some doubts in how much the human activity affects the planet. They don’t believe in threat of global warming and Kyoto Protocol able to regulate world temperatures in particular. Kyoto Protocol provides that in 2008-2012 participating countries will decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 5% compared to that of 1990. Russia, as the country, which ratified the Protocol, binds itself to keep the emissions’ rate of 1990. According to the protocol, the quotas were distributed the following way: 36% - the USA, 17% - Russia, 9% - Japan, 7% - Germany, etc.

The advocates of the Kyoto protocol claim the amount of CO2 emissions produced by the human activity must be under rigid control as irreplaceably harming the climate of the Earth. However, academician Vernadsky, father of biochemistry, said that the volume of CO2 is balanced by photosynthesis and the main CO2 sources are volcanoes’ eruptions, fires and human activity. At this the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere makes up 750 billion tons per year and the human’s share is 3 billion tons only.

The USA tops the list of “polluters” with 270 million tons of wastes, Europe produces 40-45 million tons, other countries – up to 20 million – these figures can’t be compared to that volume of gases the nature produces itself. Here is the reason for skepticism.

Experts believe only developed but not developing countries find post-Kyoto agreements profitable. China, for instance, is unlikely to sign a document like that, as it will result in fall in its economic growth.

In case Russia has to conclude post-Kyoto agreements, its losses can be reduced to minimum, if the government encourages companies introducing new technologies and fines enterprises working with old ”dirty” equipment. Presently, the ecological control in Russia is ineffective and hundreds of plants and factories are simply not observed, so their “contribution” to the greenhouse effect can’t be estimated.

Global warming is a worrying problem of the modern world, and it is definitely nice that some developed countries try hard to avoid it, but somehow it is turning into an instrument to control developing economies.



Olga Pletneva

Tags: ecology     

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