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Climate researchers in Europe are expressing concern about the objectives of a conference to be held in Moscow in September. They fear that sceptics in Russia want to use the meeting to help block ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

At least 55 countries that were jointly responsible for 55 per cent of the industrialised world's carbon dioxide emissions in 1990 must ratify the agreement for it to come into force. Russia's ratification would succeed in bringing the agreement into effect.

But several scientists, who didn't want to be named, have revealed their unease about the forthcoming World Climate Change Conference, after attending a programme committee meeting in Moscow last month. The researchers said that they had considered boycotting the September meeting, but had decided against it on the basis that this would offend the Russians and could jeopardise climate negotiations both within and outside the country.

Link to Nature news story

Reference: Nature 423, 792 (2003)