Canada will become the first country to officially withdraw from the Kyoto protocol. Their Environment Minister, Peter Kent, announced the plans for the formal withdrawal on Monday:
The Kyoto Protocol does not represent the path forward for Canada. It’s now clear that Kyoto is not the path forward for a global solution to climate change. If anything, it’s an impediment. We are invoking Canada’s legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto.
The country joined under the previous, liberal-led administration and made the committments to the protocol. The country was not on track to meet the goals and was facing $14B in penalties. Kent summarized what they would need to do in order to attempt to meet the goal:
To meet the target under 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.
Kent does support an effort to reduce greenhouse gases but believes that without major contributors like the United States, China and India on board, the efforts will be fruitless. According to a BBC report, Kent said meeting Canada’s obligations under Kyoto would cost $13.6bn (10.3bn euros; £8.7bn):
That’s $1,600 from every Canadian family – that’s the Kyoto cost to Canadians, that was the legacy of an incompetent Liberal government.
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