Its official. The Kyoto Protocol is formally dead, with the announcement today from Moscow that Russia will not ratify the treaty. This means it cannot now go into force, according to its own terms. Look for European and American environmentalists to say that it is Bushs fault.
Two things are notable about this. First, the announcement was made today in Moscow, and not in Milan, where a 12-day UN conference is desperately trying to revive the Kyoto treaty. By announcing their decision in Moscow, the Russians have thumbed their nose at the UN conference.
Second, that sound you hear behind the curtain is European nations breathing a sigh of relief. They cannot meet even their near-term Kyoto targets (even with flat economies) and have been looking for ways to cheat on the treaty in recent weeks. They always wanted to be able to blame someone else, however, while playing to their green constituencies.