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Российская академия наук

Президиум РАН

63-я Пагуошская конференция учёных

Михаил Дмитриевич
(1913 - 1973), президент
Пагуошского движения ученых, председатель
Советского Пагуошского комитета

Ginzburg A.S., Prof. - G8, 11 Academies and Pugwash Responsibility for Climate Change Issues

Report on the 55th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs, WG 6, Hiroshima, Japan, 22-27 July 2005

Краткая аннотация на русском языке: Доклад заместителя директора Института физики атмосферы им. А.М. Обухова РАН, члена Президиума Российского Пагуошского комитета РАН доктора физико-математических наук А.С. Гинзбурга на 55-й Пагуошской конференции ученых, Хиросима (Япония), 22 - 27 июля 2005 г.


As one of the Dagomys Declaration co-authors I am strongly supporting Eric T. Ferguson and Arthur Petersen initiative to debate "PUGWASH and ECOLOGICAL THREATS" in Hiroshima. In the Dagomys Declaration (September 1988) it was affirmed that ecological threats were one of Pugwash central concerns.

Now it’s clear that by the middle of XXI century the world will face grave threats to the very survival of ecological systems on which we all depend, as many studies and UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment among them show.

One of the main current environment issues today are climate change and Kyoto protocol as an mechanism of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change realization.

Are the climate changes real and dangerous? The author of this paper as many other scientists few years ago couldn’t even imagined how serious such question is.

What is Kyoto protocol and its realization – great worldwide business game or instrument to destroy Russian, US and other economies?

In any case current world battle on climate issues has nothing similar with fair scientific discussion.

G8 and 11 Academies Statement

It is well known that G8 meeting in Scotland this July has two main themes: mitigating Global Warming and abolishing Poverty in Africa.

The global climate change on the whole and the Kyoto Protocol in particular, were expected to become one of the central subjects of the international discussion at G8 meeting in Scotland.

Royal Society of UK was prepared G8 statement on climate and Kyoto protocol. Lord May of Oxford, President of the Royal Society announced this statement: "It is clear that world leaders, including the G8, can no longer use uncertainty about aspects of climate change as an excuse for not taking urgent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions. We welcome the fact that Tony Blair has made climate change a focus for its presidency of the G8 this year.

From the Britain side the G8 summit is an unprecedented moment in human history. World leaders face a stark choice act now to tackle climate change or let future generations face the price of their inaction. Never before have we faced such a global threat. And if we do not begin effective action now it will be much harder to stop the runaway train as it continues to gather momentum.

The changes in climate are happening now, the further changes are unavoidable and that, nations must prepare for them. It is calls for the G8 countries to work with developing nations to enable them to develop their own innovative solutions to lessen and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.

To support G8 efforts for climate change mitigation within the Royal Society was written the statement of G8 science academies of France, Russia, Germany, US, UK, Japan, Italy and Canada, along with those of Brazil, China and India. It has been issued ahead of the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland (Annex 1).

Unfortunately as was happened many times ago with climate changes and its mitigation problems some leaders and academicians were strongly disagree with there British colleagues.

US President George W. Bush used the occasion to crack down on the ideologists of Kyoto agreements. George W. Bush stated on the threshold of the G8 summit that the US administration viewed the Kyoto Protocol as a form of international fraud. Bush strongly excluded an opportunity for the USA to ratify a treaty, the essence of which would be similar to the Kyoto climate change treaty. The US economy would be ruined, if the USA met the conditions of the climate change document, Bush clarified. It is worth mentioning that the USA joined the protocol in 1997, although it later pulled out from the treaty four years later, when American experts analyzed all advantages and disadvantages of the decision.

According to the standpoint of the US administration, one should not restrict the economic development and assign huge funds for the struggle with carbonic gas in poor states. One should deal with such problems independently, investing in energy-saving and ecologically pure technologies, Bush believes.

It is hard to accuse the USA of greediness and unwillingness to acknowledge ecological problems. The Bush's administration launches new projects of nuclear and alternative energy, to gradually reduce the share of hydrocarbon-powered thermal power stations in the future. Pragmatic Americans kill two birds with one stone: they reduce the amount of harmful emissions in the atmosphere and strengthen their energy security from politically unstable fuel exporters.

One has to acknowledge the fact that the USA does not need any external pressure at this point: whether it comes from the Kyoto Protocol or another similar agreement. The dynamically growing India and China do not need it either.

Russian scientists prepare their own scandal too: they want Russia to withdraw its signature from the British report on the global warming. Some Russian academicians are still negative about the Kyoto protocol to the UN convention on climate change, a leading scientist told a Friday news conference. Academician Yury Izrael, who chairs the Russian Academy of Sciences' council-seminar on the Kyoto protocol, said the council had confirmed its position on climate change remained the same. The presidents of the academies of sciences of 11 countries - Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Britain, Japan, the United States, Canada and Russia - signed the British scientists' statement. Izrael said Russian Academy of Sciences President Yury Osipov's signature on the document was "a misunderstanding."

Some Russian scientists and economists think that Russia apparently needs the protocol despite its ambition to double the GDP. The treaty stipulates Russia and former republics of the Soviet Union should cut the emission of greenhouse gases by over 30 percent during the forthcoming years and by 90 percent by 2050. It means that the economic activity on the territory of the Russian Federation is supposed to drop by 70-80 percent, whereas the GDP growth for Russia and former Soviet states must reduce two or three times by 2050. To crown it all, global warming restraining programs are evaluated at up to 47 trillion dollars.

These Russian scientists and economists are certain that the Kyoto Protocol is harmful to the Russian economy and that Russia already suffers losses from the ratification of the climate change treaty. The idea, which permeates through the Kyoto Protocol, is connected with the myth of the global warming. However, Russia's congresses, addresses and most prominent scientists were trying to prove to the world that the actual reasons of the global climate change were still unknown. Russian specialists repeatedly said that the problem needed to be developed and studied further. It is noteworthy that Russian scientists were not allowed to participate in international discussions on the matter.

Let us remember that problem of current climate change is not so simple as one could think. It is clear, for example, that the ice of the Antarctic acts as an indicator of the global climate change. A group of Russian scientists, who have recently returned from their mission to Antarctica, presented a sensational report to the Academy of Sciences. Having conducted a series of meticulous experiments on board the Krasin ice breaker, the scientists concluded that the biggest part of the Antarctic continent had become colder with time.

“Climate Tensions”

All mentioned above show the main reasons for climate change and Kyoto protocol tensions among US, EU and Russia.

The Russian Kyoto protocol ratification after the long national discussion was a demonstration of good will to European Union. But within the EU itself there are some “climate” tensions.

Mark Tinker (The Independent, 19 June 2005) published the article named “Cracks In The Kyoto Consensus” about the relations between UK, France and Germany before the G8 summit.

He wrote that Both Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac must be somewhat rattled by the implication from their electorates that the privileged political elites need to pay a little more attention to their constituencies. So a nice global warming summit where they can emote with their "subjects" on the new religion and blame George Bush should make them feel better.

But even here this might not last, for cracks are appearing in the Kyoto consensus. This is an economics and markets column and not a political one, so I'll restrict my views on Kyoto to noting that even if I were convinced of the science predicting a 0.7 per cent increase in temperatures over the next 200 years (which I am not), I would still have a huge economic problem with the proposed solutions.

On the ground, the Germans are unhappy at the huge implied costs of the emissions targets, with the likely winners of the coming election proposing radical changes in restrictions on German firms.

The markets' response to all this remains practical: oil prices are going higher and the price of uranium has risen by 50 per cent so far this year. In the meantime, tax breaks for wind farms and the profits to be made from emissions trading are producing some unlikely Kyoto enthusiasts at the outer fringes of capitalism”.

The misunderstanding among the G8 and other large countries became bigger looking on some figures of greenhouse gases emission grow.

From 1990 (Kyoto's base year for measuring changes) to 2002, global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas, increased 16.4 percent, reports the International Energy Agency. The U.S. increase was 16.7 percent, and most of Europe hasn't done much better.

Here are some IEA estimates of the increases: France, 6.9 percent; Italy, 8.3 percent; Greece, 28.2 percent; Ireland, 40.3 percent; the Netherlands, 13.2 percent; Portugal, 59 percent; Spain, 46.9 percent.

It's true that Germany (down 13.3 percent) and Britain (a 5.5 percent decline) have made big reductions. But their cuts had nothing to do with Kyoto. After reunification in 1990, Germany closed many inefficient coal-fired plants in eastern Germany; that was a huge one-time saving. In Britain, the government had earlier decided to shift electric utilities from coal (high CO2 emissions) to plentiful natural gas (lower CO2 emissions).

Dagomys Declaration and Pugwash responsibility

In the Dagomys Declaration (1988) was written: “We now call on all scientists to expand our concerns to a broader set of interrelated dangers: destruction of the environment on a global scale and denial of basic needs for a growing majority of humankind. Without reducing our commitment to arms reduction and war prevention, we must recognize that environmental degradation and large-scale impoverishment are already facts and can lead to a massive catastrophe even if nuclear war is avoided.

The present inequitable international economic order confines many countries to the crushing cycle of poverty and induces them to use environmentally destructive industrial and agricultural practices. When coupled with world-wide population growth, and excessive production and profligate consumerism in the industrial nations, this is pushing the planet toward disaster. These linked environmental problems affect all nations. They exacerbate international tensions and increase the risk of future conflicts through the impacts of sea-level rises, forced migrations, and persistent crop failures.

To survive, we must recognize that environmental degradation weakens the security of all. The challenge is to find ways to promote sustainable development of all regions in the world while reducing both military and ecological threats.

Nowadays we could see the opposite point of view on environmental and particularly climate issues not only among the political leaders, economists and some scientists, but even among the members of Pugwash community. Some of Pugwashates don’t like to see Pugwash agenda too wide and propose to consider only military, nuclear and similar issues.

Let me cite the Dagomys Declaration once more: The challenge is to reduce both military and ecological threats.

It is essentially to use Pugwash reputation and influence in the world scientific and decision-makers community to reach new worldwide consensus on climate change not only within the G8 frame but among other large countries like China, Brazil, Nigeria, India, South Africa, Egypt, Argentina, Mexico, etc. presented in the Pugwash movement by their leading scientists.

It will be very useful for scientists from different regions of the world to organize a set of Pugwash roundtables and meetings related scientific background of climatic, economical and international relations aspects of Kyoto protocol.


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