World's uphill battle with Russia over Kyoto

Climate conference ends with top Putin advisor insisting on scientific doubts, financial risks

The Moscow world climate conference ended in controversy on Friday with a tense exchange between top scientists and a key Kremlin official over climate change science and the consequences for Russia of ratifying the Kyoto protocol. The event has underscored Russian ambivalence towards the protocol in what many participants said was the most politically charged climate science conference yet.

On Monday Russian president Vladimir Putin pointedly avoiding giving any commitment to ratify Kyoto. On Friday Mr Putin's climate change advisor Andrei Illarionov told the conference he was unconvinced by responses to ten questions he had dramatically presented to the conference on Wednesday. The answers were prepared by members of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) attending the conference.

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