Canada announced last night that it was withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol. The news will put more strain on the already problematic treaty, which was slated during the recent COP17 summit in Durban for being legally weak.
Canadian Environment Minister, Peter Kent announced the news to reporters, as Canada became the first country to formally withdraw from Kyoto: “As we’ve said, Kyoto for Canada is in the past … We are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto.”
According to reports Mr Kent said Canada would end up facing huge financial penalties totalling $13.6bn unless it withdrew from the agreement: “That’s $1,600 from every Canadian family- that’s the Kyoto cost to Canadians, that was the legacy of an incompetent Liberal government.”
Canada’s former government signed up to Kyoto, which agreed for the country to cut emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012. According to Reuters, by 2009 emissions were 17% above the 1990 levels. Canada claims the treaty is still flawed as major emitters, such as the USA and China, are not bound by Kyoto’s current targets.