EU heading for a fall on Kyoto protocol

Main EU demands lost to developed country opposition, low emissions cut to be agreed

OECD reviews Belarus environment policies

Environmental protection in Belarus is dominated by continuing huge expenditure necessary to respond to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident in neighbouring Ukraine, according to an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report. The OECD's first "environmental performance review" of a former Soviet republic reveals that Belarus is still spending 3% of annual gross domestic product (GDP), or 7% of total government expenditure, on post-Chernobyl clean-up and compensation. In comparison, total allocated environmental expenditure is 2% of GDP and probably actual anti-pollution spending less than 1% of GDP, according to the OECD. The OECD reports big decreases in several forms of pollution in Belarus since independence in 1991, largely due to a 37% fall in GDP, but also due to moves to establish a comprehensive environmental policy. Nevertheless, most big environmental objectives - including establishment of hazardous waste sites in each region, construction of proper water and sewerage systems in all towns over 8,000 inhabitants, and fitting of catalytic converters to most cars - have yet to be tackled, according to the OECD experts.

Follow Up:
Official Kyoto conference web site .

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