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CANADA PULLS OUT OF KYOTO PROTOCOL


DURBAN, S.Africa - Canada is formally withdrawing from the Kyoto accord, Environment Minister Peter Kent said Monday.
The decision to do so will save the government an estimated $14 billion in penalties, Kent said. The Conservative government says it has no choice given the economic situation.
Blaming an "incompetent Liberal government" who signed the accord and then took little action to make the necessary greenhouse gas emission cuts, Kent said he was formalizing what the Conservative government has been saying for weeks.
  • "Kyoto for Canada is in the past. As such, we are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw," Kent said.
  • The Kyoto Protocol, which expires next year, committed major industrial economies to reducing their annual CO2 emissions to below 1990 levels, while providing financial supports to developing nations to encourage them to follow suit eventually. Canada ratified the accord in 1997 but was not on track to meet its legally binding targets.
  • The Conservatives have committed to 17 per cent cuts from 2005 levels by 2020, a much lower threshold to meet than cutting below 1990 emissions levels.
  • Canada had to notify the United Nations of its intent to withdraw from Kyoto by the end of the year or face additional cuts under the accord based on a five-year audit being conducted at the end of 2012. Canada would have been forced to buy expensive carbon credits to meet those targets.
The Conservative government has opposed any extension of the Kyoto Protocol framework in future agreements, arguing instead for a new international agreement that includes commitments from all major emitters, including those in the developing world.
The 194 nations attending the UN climate change summit in Durban, South Africa, agreed Sunday to start negotiations on a new accord that would put all participating countries under the same binding commitments to control greenhouse gases.
Kent returned to Ottawa from Durban Monday afternoon and made the announcement about two hours after landing.
Source: CBC
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