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Russian Lower House Ratifies Kyoto Protocol

Russia's lower house of parliament has ratified the Kyoto protocol combating global warming, a step in making the international treaty legally binding.

The bill will now go to the upper house and needs the signature of President Vladimir Putin who has spoken out in favor of approval.

Russian approval would make the Kyoto protocol binding. It requires ratification by industrialized countries accounting for 55 percent of all so-called "greenhouse" gas emissions that cause global warming.

The treaty would oblige industrialized countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 percent from 1990 levels in the next eight years.

It would penalize countries that fail to meet Kyoto targets by requiring deeper greenhouse gas emission cuts.

Information for this story provided by AP and AFP.