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Tajikistan parliament ratifies Kyoto protocol
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DUSHANBE, Oct. 23—After a second reading, Tajikistan's parliament moved to ratify the Kyoto protocol, an agreement designed to stave off catastrophic climate change. This issue has been at the centre of attention in Tajik society, with interest culminating in an international conference held in Dushanbe on Oct. 22 entitled, "Clean Energies: New Possibilities for Developing Renewable and Alternative Energy Sources in Tajikistan."
Opening the conference, Prime Minister Akilov said: "Tajikistan has done an enormous amount of work to ratify this protocol. In 1999, a working group was tasked with studying the document, while 2007 saw the adoption of a government programme on environmental protection."
According to Akilov a major problem facing Tajikistan today is processing the tailings left over from mining operations during the Soviet period. "Our country cannot deal with this environmental problem without assistance from the international community," he said.
Tajikistan's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol will help develop new environmentally sound hydroelectric projects. "Our nation is looking to hydroelectric power for the good of the entire Central Asian region," Akilov said. "We have 34 percent of the world's potential hydroelectric energy, but today we use only five percent of that capacity."
Currently, greenhouse gas emissions in Tajikistan are only 30 percent of its quota under the Protocol. The remaining 70 percent of its quota can be sold to other countries whose emissions exceed their quotas. According to World Bank experts, by doing this Tajikistan may be able to garner annual revenues between $70 and $80 million [USD].