Canada Pulls Out Of Kyoto Protocol
13 December, 2011
Canada has pulled out of the Kyoto protocol on climate change, one day after an update was agreed on, saying the accord won't work.
The protocol "does not represent a way forward for Canada" and would have forced it to take "radical and irresponsible choices", Peter Kent said in Toronto, on Monday.
He added that it was a mistake for Canada to have signed up for Kyoto: "As we've said, Kyoto for Canada is in the past ... We are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto."
"The Kyoto protocol does not cover the world's two largest emitters, China and the US and therefore cannot work," he said.
Kent added that he would be formally advising the United Nations of his country's intention to withdraw.
Megan Leslie, environment spokesperson for Canada's opposition New Democratic Party said the government was abdicating its international responsibilities.
"We all knew the rumours. We all heard the reports that Canada planned to withdraw from Kyoto, and so today we actually saw it laid out before us," she said.
'Kyoto is the past'
The move does not come as a surprise, especially since Kent said last month that "Kyoto is the past".
He said the cost of meeting Canada's obligations under Kyoto would cost $13.6bn.
"That's $1,600 from every Canadian family; that's the Kyoto cost to Canadians. That was the legacy of an incompetent liberal government," he said.
The right-of-centre Conservatives took power in 2006 and made clear they would not stick to Canada's Kyoto commitments.
Canada's delegation said little during recent climate talks in South Africa where countries agreed to extend the Kyoto protocol and hammer out a new deal to force big polluters to cut greenhouse emissions.
Canada has said it backs a new global deal to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, but insists it has to cover all nations,
including China and India, which are not bound by Kyoto's current targets.
Canada's former Liberal government signed up to Kyoto, which obliged the country to cut emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels by 2012. By 2009, emissions were 17 per cent above the 1990 levels.
The decision to quit will not help the international reputation of the North American country, a major energy producer which critics say is becoming a climate renegade.
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