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Canada Will Not Commit to Kyoto Protocol’s Second Phase

Environment Minister Peter Kent is currently at a climate change conference in South Africa. He is marking the occasion by announcing that Canada will not renew its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol—an agreement among industrialized nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—by the end of 2012. (The current version of the Kyoto Protocol expires at that time; the goal of the conference underway in South Africa is to negotiate the details of the next five year commitment period.)

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997; Canada signed on in 1998. Canadian governments have been largely ignoring the emissions targets it laid out ever since, but none has gone so far as to reject the very ideas contained in the agreement. The Tories contend that implementing the measures that would be required to reduce greenhouse gases would damage the economy, and are instead advocating for a new agreement that would bind all nations, not just the industrialized ones who signed onto Kyoto.

Clarification: December 5, 1:50 PM This post originally indicated that Canada would “pull out” of the Kyoto Protocol and linked to a Canadian Press story that used the same wording. In fact, Peter Kent announced that Canada will not sign onto the second phase of the Protocol; the current phase ends in 2012.


  • Anonymous

    Because the right to die isn’t just for individuals…

  • Anonymous

    How embarrassing.

  • Cocoleone

    Shame on Kent and the neo-cons for this. Such a pathetic series of excuses to pull out of Kyoto. Not proud to be Canadian at the moment, probably won’t be until these retrogressive jokers get voted out of office.

  • Anonymous

    Kent is doing what he has always done, reading from a script handed to him. He doesn’t have and never has had the intelligence to understand it. That’s why he is the perfect environment minister in a Harper cabinet.

    PMO – “Hey Pete, here is today’s news.”

    Kent – “How’s my hair look?”

  • k1313

    funny posts for sure lol

  • picard102

    Kyoto was a joke before it was even signed. Heaven forbid we not join a Protocol used by no one.

    • Hollow Island

      It’s actually worked. Emissions by developed nations have fallen by 11% from 1990 levels (double what they were supposed to), and that is despite criminal inaction by Canada and the USA. We should face sanctions for violating an international treaty.

      27 countries have cut emissions, double the amount that have let them rise. You should listen to this:

  • Curious_toronto_guy

    Yes, I can see that the same people here who get all moist over empty symbolic gestures that don’t really do anything (like Earth Hour, McGuinty’s green jobs, banning gun ranges, declaring Toronto a nuclear free zone, etc.) think we should sign on to another empty symbolic gesture…

    • Anonymous

      So you’re the poster boy for Surviving Progress?

  • Anonymous

    Canada should do the right thing, regardless of what other countires are donig. Last time I checked, whining that everyone else was doing something bad was an excuse used by 9 year olds, and unsuccessfully at that.

    • Anonymous

      “Do the right thing.” Okay, so how is moving manufacturing and other industry overseas, exaberating the problems of foreign labour competition and losing millions of jobs in the process while simultaneously increasing the world’s GHG emissions overall a “good thing”?

      Actually it would be unfair to pin all that on the Kyoto protocol, which was purely an ineffective, symbolic gesture (as pulling out is also a symbolic gesture – but at least it is a rational one.)

  • Hollow Island

    Peter Kent’s only skill is reading aloud. He should work at the library once a week instead of acting as a state sponsored terrorist.