MOSCOW, July 5 (RIA Novosti, Yekaterina Yefimova) - The Kyoto protocol was not designed as a way to prevent global climate change but as a means to practice international cooperation mechanisms, a leading Russian scientist said Tuesday.
In the run-up to the July 6-8 G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, where the leaders of the world's most industrialized nations will discuss global economic issues and climate change, Viktor Danilov-Danilyan, the head of the Russian Institute of Water Problems, said: "It [the protocol] is designed to practice international cooperation mechanisms, which may help... stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a safe level."
Despite the evident link between these emissions and global climate change, the expert said Kyoto was "not designed to have substantial influence on climate."
"This is a kind of a pilot project, a testing mechanism to help us find forms of cooperation," Danilov-Danilyan added.
Speaking about the role of the United States in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the scientist said that the U.S. recognized the human factor in global climate change. He said a domestic program had been launched in the U.S. to reduce emissions by 4.5% by 2012.
America is not satisfied with the 7% figure proposed by the Kyoto protocol, Danilov-Danilyan said.
"A new agreement will be signed in 2013 to fix new commitments," he said, adding that Argentina and Kazakhstan were ready to reduce emissions today.
The expert forecasted a fall in the demand for hydrocarbons. He said: "Russia's hydrocarbon resources are not inexhaustible. We will face lower demand for them as energy efficiency is raised and alternative energy sources are introduced."
However, Russia plays an important role in satisfying the world's demand for hydrocarbon resources.
"Given rational economy management, Russia will be able to use the money it makes [from selling hydrocarbons] to enter the post-industrial level of development," Danilov-Danilyan said.