Russia's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol is a welcome and important step. Most of the world's industrialized countries are now committed to a binding multilateral effort to address climate change. These countries are clearly showing their resolve to take action to address climate change. And as they move to fulfill their commitments, they will demonstrate that it is a challenge that can be affordably met.
Most importantly, Kyoto's entry into force also sets the stage for a new round of negotiations that can produce a broader, more durable agreement. There is much about Kyoto's design that is worth keeping, especially its use of market mechanisms to reduce emissions as cost-effectively as possible. But new approaches will be needed to better engage the United States and major developing countries in the international climate effort. Next year's negotiations will be an important opportunity for all countries to think openly and creatively about a workable path beyond Kyoto.