MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - The economics ministry said Monday it was looking to start work with the government on Kyoto Protocol joint implementation projects.
Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Andrei Sharonov said a draft regulation for the approval of joint implementation (JI) projects and a scheme for targeted environmental investment would be submitted to the government in few weeks in a bid to launch approval procedures in July, thus pushing forward Russia's progress on implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.
Sharonov said the ministry would also submit to the Cabinet by May 15 a draft bill defining the government's trading quotas and outlining its authority within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol.
Joint implementation (JI) under the Kyoto Protocol allows parties to implement projects that reduce emissions or remove carbon from the atmosphere in return for emission reduction units (ERUs).
Sharonov said Russia was also interested in trading greenhouse gas emissions, adding that about 30 JI and trade projects had been submitted to the ministry.
Kyoto-related projects have attracted interest from Russia's financial corporations, international agencies, and big companies that are responsible for a considerable proportion of greenhouse emissions in Russia, including electricity monopoly Unified Energy System (UES), which accounts for a third of Russian and three percent of world emissions.
Sharonov said Russia should have a portfolio of agreements by the beginning of the Kyoto Protocol's first period (2008-2012), but the country needed to accelerate its efforts as other countries have already concluded agreements amounting to about $2 billion.
He said experts were forecasting Russia's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at three billion tons, adding that the country did not plan selling or negotiating JIs worth this entire amount.
"It does not mean that we are ready to sell or clinch joint implementation deals for the entire amount of three billion tons," he said, adding that the ministry did not intend to provide tax privileges to companies involved in JIs as the Kyodo Protocol itself spurred investment to reduce emissions.