Canada to pull out of Kyoto protocol

OTTAWA Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:49am IST

Environment Minister Peter Kent's statement announcing Canada will formally withdraw from the Kyoto protocol on climate change is pictured as he speaks on Parliament Hill in Ottawa December 12, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Environment Minister Peter Kent's statement announcing Canada will formally withdraw from the Kyoto protocol on climate change is pictured as he speaks on Parliament Hill in Ottawa December 12, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie

Related Topics

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.

He gave no details on when exactly Ottawa would pull out, but said Canada would be subject to enormous financial penalties under the terms of the treaty unless it withdrew.

The announcement will do little to help Canada's growing reputation as an international renegade on the climate. Green groups awarded the country their Fossil of the Year award for its performance in Durban.

Ottawa says 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 on to Kyoto, which obliged the country to cut emissions to 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. By 2009 emissions were 17 percent above the 1990 levels.

Kent says the Liberals should not have signed up to a treaty they had no intention of respecting.

Environmentalists quickly blasted Kent for his comments.

"Mr. Kent does not understand what he is sentencing our children to. Catastrophic climate change will cost them far more," said John Bennett, executive director of the Sierra Club Canada.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer, writing by David Ljunggren; editing by Christopher Wilson)

FILED UNDER:

World Wrap

Reuters Showcase

Markets Weekahead

Markets Weekahead

Focus on sectors which will build India: Ambareesh Baliga.  Read 

India Crush UAE

India Crush UAE

India cruise to easy win over UAE in Perth.  Full Article 

Budget 2015

Budget 2015

Full coverage of 2015/16 budget.  Full Coverage 

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha" is rooted in reality, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article | Related Story 

Nimoy Dies

Nimoy Dies

Shatner says can't attend friend Nimoy's funeral.  Full Article 

Rooney Scores

Rooney Scores

Rooney provides timely reminder of United worth.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage