Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Canada withdraws from Kyoto Protocol

13 December 2011, 15:15

Ottawa - Canada on Monday became the first country to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, saying the pact on cutting carbon emissions was preventing the world from effectively tackling climate change.

"We are invoking Canada's legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto," Environment Minister Peter Kent said following a marathon UN climate conference in Durban, at which nations agreed to a new roadmap for worldwide action.

The landmark pact reached in 1997 is the only global treaty that sets down targeted curbs in global emissions.

But those curbs apply only to rich countries, excluding the United States, which has refused to ratify the accord.


"Kyoto is not the path forward for a global solution to climate change," Kent said. "If anything, it's an impediment.

"We believe that a new agreement with legally binding commitments for all major emitters that allows us as a country to continue to generate jobs and economic growth represents the path forward."

Canada agreed under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce CO2 emissions to 6.0% below 1990 levels by 2012, but its emissions of the gases blamed for damaging Earth's fragile climate system have instead increased sharply.

Saying the targets agreed to by a previous Liberal administration were unattainable, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government last year unveiled its own measures aimed at curbing emissions, in line with US efforts.


Pulling out of Kyoto now allows Canada to avoid paying penalties of up to US$13.6bn for missing its targets.

Kent also cited major impacts on Canada's economy that will be avoided by withdrawing from the treaty.

"Under Kyoto, Canada is facing radical and irresponsible choices if we're to avoid punishing multibillion-dollar payments," Kent said, noting that Canada produces barely 2% of global emissions.

"To meet the targets under Kyoto for 2012 would be the equivalent of either removing every car, truck, ATV, tractor, ambulance, police car, and vehicle of every kind from Canadian roads or closing down the entire farming and agricultural sector and cutting heat to every home, office, hospital, factory, and building in Canada."

Symbolic blow

For Kyoto supporters, the anticipated Canadian pullout was expected to be a symbolic blow and badly damage a UN climate process already weakened by divisions.

Last week at the UN climate conference in Durban, Kent had already said that Kyoto was "in the past" for Canada.

"It is an agreement that covers fewer than 30% of global emissions, by some estimates 15% or less," the Canadian minister said.

The conference on Sunday approved a roadmap towards an accord that for the first time will bring all major greenhouse-gas emitters under a single legal roof.

If approved as scheduled in 2015, the pact will be operational from 2020 and become the prime weapon in the fight against climate change.

But environmentalists have called it porous.

Kent said that in the meantime, Canada would continue to try to reduce its emissions under a domestic plan that calls for a 20% cut from 2006 levels by 2020, or as critics point out, a mere 3% from 1990 levels.

The latest data last year showed that Canadian carbon emissions were currently up more than 35% from 1990.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Uhuru Kenyatta's bag of goodies t...

He promised to go back with more goodies next week. Read more...

Submitted by
Solomon Opala
Are women after money only

Many feel that it takes only a fat wallet to please a woman. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo says he will defeat UhuRu...

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has expressed confidence that he will send the Jubilee government home in the upcoming Presidential election. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Why Caffeine Is Used for Weight L...

The following are the reasons why caffeine is used for weight loss. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What guys want in relationships

Here are the top four things guys need in a relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
EACC recovers KES3.5 million stol...

EACC has recovered KES 3.5 million stolen from Mukurwe-ini Constituency Development Fund (CDF) by former committee members managing the kitty. Read more...