Friends of the Earth International has welcomed today’s vote in favour of the Kyoto climate treaty by the Russian Duma’s lower house of parliament [1].

Media Advisory
Friends of the Earth International
Friday 22 October 2004

If Russia ratifies the Kyoto Protocol – which now seems highly likely – the treaty will come into worldwide effect [2].

Today’s vote will also further isolate the USA and Australia , who have both refused to sign up to the treaty [3].

Friends of the Earth International’s climate campaigner Catherine Pearce said:
“At long last it looks like the Kyoto climate treaty is finally going to come into effect, and the world can begin the crucial battle against global warming, the biggest environmental threat the planet faces. But international pressure must be put on the United States and Australia to join the fight too. If they want to be responsible members of the world community they must wake up to the threat of climate change, sign up to Kyoto, and take urgent action to cut their emissions.”

“The Kyoto Protocol is only the first step. Much bigger cuts in carbon dioxide emissions than Kyoto demands are needed. If we fail to meet the challenge the devastating impacts will be felt by millions of people for generations to come.”

Friends of the Earth International is the largest grassroots environmental network in the world with more than one million members in 70 countries.

For more information:

Catherine Pearce, Friends of the Earth International
+ 44 (0) 20 7566 1723 or + 44 (0)7811 283 641


[1] The treaty now requires ratification by the upper house and signature by President Vladimir Putin. It will be forwarded to the Upper House of Duma within 5 days. Once the Upper House adapts the registration, it will be sent to President Putin within 5 days. The President is expected to sign within 14 days. The Protocol enters into force 90 days after Russian ratification is received by the UN.

[2] Under the Kyoto Protocol industrialised nations responsible for 55 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions must ratify the treaty before it can come into effect. If Russia ratifies the treaty it will reach this key threshold. More at the United Nations Convention on Climate Change website:

[3] The USA is the world’s biggest polluter – despite having around only four per cent of the planet’s population it is responsible for around 25 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.