July 8 Press Conference with Andrei Illarionov (Presidential Economic Adviser)
On the Results of the Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol Seminar in Moscow
[Alexander House, July 8, 2004]
For remarks made at a previous Press Conference (October
2003) which include the "10 questions" referred to below,
Illarionov: We have a few
minutes left and I would like to tell you about the impressions
on the two-day seminar that has just ended.
Yuri Antonovich and I have mentioned the fact that this is
the first seminar of its kind that we have managed to arrange
and it was accidental. Over almost a year we have repeatedly asked
our foreign partners who advocate the Kyoto Protocol and who insist
that Russia should ratify the Kyoto Protocol, and we have invited
them to meet and discuss these issues, present arguments and counter-arguments
and discuss them jointly. But we have not received any reply for
a year. These people persistently refused to take part in any
Nine months ago, at an international climate change conference
in Moscow, ten questions concerning the essence of the Kyoto Protocol
and its underlying theory were submitted to the IPCC. We were
told that the reply would be given within several days. Nine months
have passed since then but there has been no reply, even though
we have repeated our inquiries on these and the growing number
of other related questions.
Instead of getting replies to our questions, we kept on hearing
that replies did not matter. What was important is that whether
or not Russia trusts Britain, the European Union and the countries
that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol and that have been exerting
unprecedented pressure on Russia to ratify it. This is why it
was so important for us to arrange a real meeting and a real discussion
of real problems with the participation of foreign scientists
who have different views in order not to stew in one's own juice,
as Yuri Antonovich put it, but to hear the arguments not only
of our Russian scientists but also the arguments and counter-arguments
from scientists in other countries.
We did get such an opportunity and over the past two days we
heard more than 20 reports, we held detailed discussions, and
now we can say that a considerable number of the questions we
formulated and raised have been somewhat clarified, just as some
other questions have.
I would sum up my conclusions in six points. The first one
concerns the nature and the contents of the Kyoto Protocol. This
is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, international adventure
of all times and nations. Frankly speaking, it's hard to recall
something like this of the same scale and of the same consequences,
just as the lack of any grounds for action in field.
Basically, none of the assertions made in the Kyoto Protocol
and the "scientific" theory on which the Kyoto Protocol
is based been borne out by actual data. We are not seeing any
high frequency of emergency situations or events. There has been
no increase in the number of floods. Just as there has been no
increase in the number of droughts. We can see that the speed
of the wind in the hails in some areas is decreasing contrary
to the statements made by the people who support the Kyoto Protocol.
We are not witnessing a higher incidence of contagious diseases,
and if there is a rise, it has nothing to do with climate change.
If there is an insignificant increase in the temperature it
is not due to anthropogenic factors but to the natural factors
related to the planet itself and solar activity. There is no evidence
confirming a positive linkage between the level of carbon dioxide
and temperature changes. If there is such a linkage, it is a reverse
nature. In other words, it is not carbon dioxide that influences
the temperature on Earth, but it just the reverse: temperature
fluctuations are caused by solar activity influence the concentration
of carbon dioxide.
The statistical data underpinning these documents and issued
in millions of copies are often considerably distorted if not
falsified. The most vivid example of that is the so-called "ice
hockey stick", or the curve of temperature changes on the
planet over the past 1000 years. It is alleged that there were
insignificant temperature fluctuations for 900 years but there
was a sharp rise in temperature in the 20th century.
A number of scientific works published lately show that in
order to produce this "ice hockey stick", nine intentional
or unintentional, I don't really know, mistakes were made that
led to distortions in initial data and final results. Using the
words of famous poet Vladimir Vysotsky, everything is not the
way it should be.
Second, in respect to the presentation made by representatives
of the so-called official team of the British government and the
official British climate science, or at least how they introduced
themselves at the seminar. I personally was surprised by the exceptionally
poor content of the papers presented. During the past two years
I took part in many international meetings, seminars, conferences
and congresses on these issues both in Russia and in many of the
countries, including the seminar that we had today and yesterday.
Honestly, these papers and presentations differed dramatically
from what is usually offered at international congresses and conferences.
Simultaneously, they revealed an absolute---and I stress, absolute
inability to answer questions concerning the alleged professional
activities of the authors of these papers. Not only the ten questions
that were published nine months ago, but not a single question
asked during this two-day seminar by participants in the seminar,
both Russian and foreign, were answered.
When it became clear that they could not provide a substantive
answer to a question, three devices were used. And I have to say
it now although has not direct bearing on the Kyoto Protocol and
the content of the extremely interesting presentations made during
the past two days. The British participants insisted on introducing
censorship during the holding of this seminar. The chief science
adviser to the British government, Mr. King, demanded in the form
of an ultimatum at the beginning of yesterday that the program
of the seminar be changed and he presented an ultimatum demanding
that about two-third of the participants not be given the floor.
The participants in the seminar who had been invited by the
Russian Academy of Sciences, they have been invited by the president
of the Academy of Sciences Yuri Sergeyevich Osipov. Mr. King spoke
about "undesirable" scientists and undesirable participants
in the seminar. He declared that if the old program is preserved,
he would not take part in the seminar and walk out taking along
with him all the other British participants.
He has prepared his own program which he proposed, it is available
here and my colleagues can simply distribute Mr. King's hand-written
program to change the program prepared by the Russian Academy
of Sciences and sent out in advance to all the participants in
A comparison of the real program prepared by the Academy of
Science and the program proposed as an ultimatum by Mr. King will
give us an idea of what scientists, from the viewpoint of the
chief scientific adviser to the British government, are undesirable.
In the course of negotiations on this issue Mr. King said that
he had contacted the British Foreign Secretary Mr. Straw who was
in Moscow at the time and with the office of the British Prime
Minister, Blair, so that the corresponding executives in Britain
should contact the corresponding officials in Russia to bring
pressure on the Russian Academy of Sciences and the President
of the Russian Academy of Sciences to change the seminar's program.
When the attempt to introduce censorship at the Russian Academy
of Sciences failed, other attempts were made to disrupt the seminar.
At least four times during the course of the seminar ugly scenes
were staged that prevented the seminar from proceeding normally.
As a result we lost at least four hours of working time in order
to try to solve these problems.
During these events Mr. King cited his conversations with the
office of the British Prime Minister and had got clearance for
And thirdly, when the more or less normal work of the seminar
was restored and when the opportunity for discussion presented
itself, when questions on professional topics were asked, and
being unable to answer these questions, Mr. King and other members
of the delegation, turned to flight, as happened this morning
when Mr. King, in an unprecedented incident, cut short his answer
to a question in mid sentence realizing that he was unable to
answer it and left the seminar room. It is not for us to give
an assessment to what happened, but in our opinion the reputation
of British science, the reputation of the British government and
the reputation of the title "Sir" has sustained heavy
The next point brings us directly to the Kyoto Protocol, or
more specifically, to the ideological and philosophical basis
on which it is built. That ideological base can be juxtaposed
and compared, as Professor Reiter has done just now, with man-hating
totalitarian ideology with which we had the bad fortune to deal
during the 20th century, such as National Socialism, Marxism,
Eugenics, Lysenkovism and so on. All methods of distorting information
existing in the world have been committed to prove the alleged
validity of these theories. Misinformation, falsification, fabrication,
mythology, propaganda. Because what is offered cannot be qualified
in any other way than myth, nonsense and absurdity.
Finally, my last point is why it happens and how the whole
thing can be described. When we see one of the biggest, if not
the biggest international adventures based on man-hating totalitarian
ideology which, incidentally, manifests itself in totalitarian
actions and concrete events, particularly academic discussions,
and which tries to defend itself using disinformation and falsified
facts. It's hard to think of any other word but "war"
to describe this.
To our great regret, this is a war, and this is a war against
the whole world. But in this particular case the first to happen
to be on this path is our country. It's unpleasant to say but
I am afraid it's undeclared war against Russia, against the entire
country, against the left and the right, against the liberals
and the conservatives, against business and the Federal Security
Service, against the young and the old who live in Moscow or in
provinces. This is a total war against our country, a war that
uses all kinds of means.
The main prize in this war for those who have started it and
who are waging is the ratification by Russian authorities of the
Kyoto Protocol. There is only one conclusion to be made from what
we have seen, heard and researched: Russia has no material reasons
to ratify this document. Moreover, such a ratification would mean
only one thing: complete capitulation to the dangerous and harmful
ideology and practice that are being imposed upon us with the
help of international diplomacy.
This is not a simple war. Like any war it cannot be easy and
simple. Regrettably like any war it has its losses and victims,
and we must understand that. The main thing is that we have now
obvious evidence that we have got over the past two days, although
we had some hints before that time, and it was the approach to
Russia practiced by some people attending the seminar, an approach
to Russia as a kind of banana republic, an approach to a country
that is not a colony yet but about to become it as soon as it
ratifies the document. At least we now know how people in colony
feel towards other people who are trying to make them a colony.
And maybe the last touch. During the discussion of the economic
impact of the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and of when Russia
will achieve the 1990 emission level, one of the representatives
of this official British team of scientists and government officials
said quite bluntly: Russia cannot expect an increase in the population,
on the contrary, the population will decrease. And as long as
you reduce your population, you can meet the Kyoto Protocol requirements.
Thank you for your attention. The remaining small team is ready
to answer your questions.
Izrael: Just a couple of
words to add. The Kyoto Protocol aims to impoverish our country,
and not only us but our children and grandchildren, I'd like to
emphasize that, because the more time passes the more we will
have to invest to meet the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.
Illarionov: And maybe the
very last point. Indeed Russia has found itself in the forefront
of this war. We haven't chosen it. We did not want and do not
want to war. This war has been imposed on us. The fate of our
country, the fate of our children, as Yuri Antonovich has just
said, and the fate of the entire world will depend on the outcome
of this war.
There have been examples in our fairly recent history of how
a considerable portion of Europe was flooded with the brown Nazi
ideology, the red Commie ideology that caused severe casualties
and consequences for Europe and the entire world. Now there is
a big likelihood that a considerable part of Europe has been flooded
with another type, another color of ideology but with very similar
implications for European societies and human societies the world
over. And now we in Russia are facing a historical opportunity:
are we going to let the genie out of the bottle as the previous
generations let the Nazi and Communist genies out of the bottles
My question is to the representative from Australia. Unfortunately
I did not get his name...
Illarionov: William Kinenmos.
Question: As far as I know
Australia has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Can you tell
us if Great Britain and the European Union exerted the same kind
of pressure on Australia when it was thinking about whether or
not it should ratify the Kyoto Protocol? And how can you explain
what is now happening to Russia?
And a question to Andrei Illarionov...
Kinenmos: Getting to the
Australian situation, very early after Kyoto, the Australian government
and the Prime Minister said that Australia was not going to ratify
the Kyoto Protocol because of the impact on the economic conditions
in Australia. It would mean the loss of jobs and the export of
jobs because Australia is essentially a country that has a lot
of energy-intensive industries, and their growth would be on energy-intensive
industries. So the Prime Minister was very categorical, and he
has been since that time that Australia would not ratify the Kyoto
Question: Was there any
pressure on Australia to ratify?
Kinenmos: I cannot answer
whether in the government area there was pressure or not. There
certainly was not pressure as is experienced here in Russia, but
Australia very early, the Prime Minister said that Australia was
not going to ratify for the reasons that I gave.
Question: My second question
is for Andrei Nikolayevich. Doesn't the Academy of Sciences have
security guards so that you wouldn't have to lose four hours and
wouldn't have your seminars disrupted?
Illarionov: Before I answer
your question I've just been asked that here is a package of materials
distributed at the seminar and is available at the exit. You will
be able to get the hand out.
As for the guards, I have seen them. But I understand that
the question was that Russian participants tried to do all they
could in order that the seminar's work were normal. And unfortunately,
from this two-day experience, I have made it clear for myself
that different participants in the seminar pursued different goals.
For some participants the main goal was the search for the truth,
understanding of real processes. Other people had the task of
disrupting the seminar, so that other people who were seeking
the truth could not do so. And this, probably, accounts to what
was taking here over the past two days.
Izrael: I will add something
because Andrei Nikolayevich has already said that Sir David King,
adviser to the British government---he had brought several scientists
along with him and he insisted that the program should include
among the speakers only those scientists and no other. So, he
came over, selected scientists at his discretion, scientists who
were to be given the floor in his opinion and scientists who were
to be denied an opportunity to speak. He even said that you are
in the minority and we are not going to listen to you.
Question: Japanese paper
Mainichi. I have a question to Mr. Illarionov. Last month when
Foreign Minister of Japan came to Moscow she met with high-ranking
officials of the Russian government and one of them told her that
Russia will soon be ready to get the answer about the Kyoto Protocol
ratification issue and he also told her that the answer will be
in favor of Japan. Pretty much indicating that Russia will be
ratifying the protocol pretty soon. Do you think that will happen
and has Mr. Putin made the decision about ratifying or not ratifying
Illarionov: I'll try to
answer each part of your question. The first part is, you said
that the decision would be taken in favor of Japan. As you understand,
a decision in favor of Japan means a refusal to ratify the Kyoto
Protocol. Because the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol will
hit hardest at those countries which had been careless enough
to assume obligations to cut carbon dioxide emissions, and Japan
was one of such countries.
In February a large international seminar was held in Moscow
on the issues of the Kyoto Protocol and climate change which was
attended among others by representatives of Japan, including representatives
of Japanese business and the government of Japan. I remember the
presentation by a Japanese representative who described how Japan
was already doing everything possible to comply with the terms
of the Kyoto Protocol. That gentleman said that Japan was doing
everything to reduce economic activities in Japan, including the
movement of production outside Japan thus aggravating the economic
crisis in which Japan has been for the last 14 years.
It is known that in the last 14 years Japan has been lagging
far behind other developed states and instead of bridging the
gap between itself and the United States and even Europe, it was
increasing the gap. So, the introduction of the Kyoto Protocol
through ratification, for instance, possible ratification by Russia
would mean that Japan would quickly start to move back to the
state in which it was a decade ago, it would be weak, poor and
backward. I don't think it would be in the interests of Japan.
As for the reference to the remarks by you Foreign Minister
who had met with an unidentified Russian officials who allegedly
promised your Minister early ratification of the Kyoto Protocol
by the Russian side, you understand that in wartime, and we re
aware that it is a war, there is always room for the fifth column.
You know what the fifth column is. And the people in the fifth
column are working actively because they want Russia to pass such
a decision as quickly as possible and they use every trick in
the book starting from bribery and ending with intimidation, threats
So, you as a close observer of events in Russia has a unique
chance to see, identify and even interview some of the representatives
of the fifth column.
And finally, regarding the last part of your last question.
If the Russian Federation ever decides to ratify the Kyoto Protocol
such a decision will have been taken not only the basis of substantive
analysis, not for substantive, but for some other reasons. We
cannot fully rule that out just as we cannot fully predict climate
change on the planet. But in any case, if such a decision is taken,
it would deal, I repeat, a very serious blow to Russia, Japan,
the European Union and Canada, the countries and regions which
were rash enough to assume such obligations.
And it would deal a powerful blow on the whole humanity similar
to the one humanity experienced when Nazism and communism flourished.
Question: The Japanese
Information Agency. Mr. Illarionov, a very simple question. Why
don't you go along with the words of your boss, President Putin,
who said quite clearly: "We are in favor of the Kyoto Protocol"?
Illarionov: I will permit
myself to remind you of the words said by President Putin. President
Putin has never said that he supported the Kyoto Protocol. President
Putin said on May 24, 2004 that he supported the Kyoto process.
So, I am sorry, but you can't say that I do not support President
Putin on this issue.
Mr Illarionov's reference here is really to Bill Kininmonth,
former director of the Australian National Climate Centre. [back to text]