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Russia says no plans to sell Kyoto carbon rights

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia does not plan to sell its unused Kyoto Protocol emissions rights and instead wants to carry them into a new climate change agreement, a senior Kremlin official said on Friday.

The chimneys of Perm Engine Company are seen in Perm, 1,150 km (720 miles) east of Moscow, December 6, 2009. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov

Analysts said Moscow could swamp the market with its own unused quotas, called Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) and theoretically worth billions of dollars, if it decided to attempt to sell them before Kyoto expires in 2012.

“Russia is going to carry the saved quotas in the Kyoto Protocol over to a new agreement,” the Russian presidential advisor on climate, Alexander Bedritsky, told a Moscow press briefing.

“As far as I know, there are no plans to sell emission quotas,” he said.

Under Kyoto, countries comfortably under their emissions targets can sell the difference in the form of AAUs to other nations.

Russia has an inventory of billions of AAUs due to the collapse of its industry in the 1990’s.

Bedritsky said curbing greenhouse gas emissions would help stimulate new technologies and in turn economic growth.

Tackling the growth in emissions was necessary to show the current generation could take responsibility for future generations, he said.

Bedritsky stood by Russia’s offer to reduce its emissions by up to 25 percent from its 1990 emission figures which, due to the collapse of Soviet-era industries in the 1990s, would still allow Russian emissions to grow in future.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will travel to Copenhagen for the final scheduled day of the U.N. climate change summit on Dec. 18.

Last month, Medvedev warned that climate change posed a “catastrophic” threat that had to be addressed.