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Russia won't exceed 1990 level in CO2 emissions until 2020

MOSCOW, January 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's power industry is unlikely to exceed the 1990 level of greenhouse gas emissions until 2020, the general director of an ecological fund told RIA Novosti Monday.

"We are unlikely to exceed the 1990 emission level during the presumed validity term of the post-Kyoto agreement," said Andrei Gorkov, who heads the Energy Carbon fund of Russian energy monopoly UES.

UES established the fund in 2000 to contribute to a reduction of the 'greenhouse effect' on the environment.

Gorkov said the only way the level could be exceeded would be if Russia badly lacked natural gas, burnt a lot of carbon and suffered unusually severe weather conditions in the future.

"Then we would ever so slightly exceed the level," he added.

Restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions envisioned by the Kyoto Protocol came into force on January 1. The protocol obliges the 35 industrial states that have ratified the document to cut emissions by their individually defined quantities below 1990 levels by 2008-2012.

Developed and developing countries have been locked in a dispute over who should bear the main burden for carbon emission restrictions.

A UN conference on climate change was held in December in Bali, Indonesia. The issue of signing a post-Kyoto agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire on December 31, 2012, was the agenda's main topic.

One of the main disagreements between the members was a dispute between the European Union, which was proposing that industrially developed states reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 by 25-40%, and the U.S., which disagreed with the figures and is pushing for a voluntary agreement, rather than legally binding targets.

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