Climate Summits

In unprecedented move, Canada withdraws from Kyoto Protocol

CAPE TOWN, Dec 14, 2011 (IPS) - Barely 24 hours after it signed a new global climate change agreement in Durban, South Africa, Canada became on Monday the first country to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding treaty to reduce emissions causing climate change.

The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) concluded last Sunday with an agreement called the Durban Platform, which includes a consensus agreement for a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol after the first expires at the end of 2012.

Canada's government under Stephen Harper essentially agreed to a continuation of Kyoto only to announce formal withdrawal after Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent arrived back safely in Canada on Monday.
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Media Comment: Canada pulls out from Kyoto Accord

Following the announcement by the Canadian Government regarding Canada officially pulling out of the Kyoto Accord, Sierra Club Prairie offers the below comment from Executive Director Eriel Deranger:

" It has been 6 years under the Harper government and we have not seen any kind of steps taken to implement aggressive carbon reductions or improved industry regulation. Instead we have seen a relaxation of regulations, increased tar sands approvals, approvals of new coal fired-power plants that were expedited under the old regulations, and finger pointing at negotiations. This is another national embarrassment coming from our government and signals to the world that Canada is not ready to tackle the climate change crisis."

For further comment, please call Eriel Deranger at 780-903-6598

Canada to pull out of Kyoto protocol

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will pull out of the Kyoto protocol on climate change, Environment Minister Peter Kent said on Monday, dealing a symbolic blow to the troubled global treaty.

Canada will become the first country to formally withdraw from Kyoto, which it says is badly flawed because it does not cover all major emitters of greenhouse gasses, notably the United States and China.

The news came as little surprise, especially since Kent said last month that "Kyoto is the past." The right-of-center Conservatives took power in 2006 and made it clear they would not stick to Canada's Kyoto commitments.

"As we've said, Kyoto for Canada is in the past ... We are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto," Kent told reporters after returning from talks in Durban, South Africa, on extending the protocol.... Read more »

Kyoto: Canada’s shame

Canada still legally obligated to live up to Kyoto commitments

December 12, 2011

In response to the announcement that the Federal Government is pulling Canada out of the Kyoto Protocol, John Bennett, Executive Director of Sierra Club Canada, made the following comments:

"Mr. Kent does not understand what he is sentencing our children to - catastrophic climate change will cost them far more,” said Mr. Bennett

“This move is not economics. It certainly isn’t about saving 7 billion dollars,” said Mr. Bennett. “By not acting to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions it will cost us much more. One only has to look at the recent report of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.”

Climate groups to Canada: Commit to Kyoto or stay home

Environment Minister Peter Kent refuses to say whether Canada has decided in advance of new international talks on climate change to withdraw its commitment to the Kyoto protocol.

“I'm neither confirming nor denying,” Mr. Kent told a news conference in Ottawa on Monday morning after news reports said the Conservative government, which has never embraced the agreement that was signed by its Liberal predecessors, would officially back away from the deal that it has ratified.

The Kyoto protocol was adopted at an international conference in Japan in 1997 and came into effect in 2005. It expires in 2012 and subsequent climate-change conferences in Copenhagen and Cancun, Mexico have failed to arrive at an agreement to replace it. So representatives of 195 countries are meeting in Durban, South Africa, this week to try to hammer out a global deal to reduce carbon emissions.
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