VANCOUVER — Media reports that Canada has a secret plan to withdraw from Phase II of the Kyoto Protocol are disturbing, according to the David Suzuki Foundation. The Protocol is the only legally binding international agreement with firm targets to reduce global warming pollution. When asked if the secret plan was in the works, Environment Minister Peter Kent would neither confirm nor deny the allegations. World leaders are meeting in Durban, South Africa, to develop an effective approach to reducing the serious threat of global warming and associated impacts such as drought, flooding and extreme weather events.
The reports suggest that while Canada has been meeting with world leaders for the past six years and committing to work out a binding agreement for the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol, our government had no intention of honouring the agreement and had, in fact, planned to abandon it shortly after the UN climate change summit in Durban.
Canada's reputation was again called into question as an official from the South African government confirmed that our government has been urging other countries to abandon Phase II of the agreement.
"Rather than meeting in secret to get other countries to leave Kyoto, Canada should be playing a constructive role by helping negotiations to achieve an effective global response," said David Suzuki Foundation climate change policy analyst Dale Marshall.
Environment Minister Kent's indication that Canada will not honour the agreement could hinder an effective global plan and would set a poor example.
"If a wealthy industrialized country such as Canada, which is one of the Top 10 global warming polluters, fails to honour a legally binding agreement with firm pollution targets, why should we expect developing countries to reduce their emissions?" Marshall said.
The International Energy Agency reports that governments and the private sector must shift investments from polluting energy sources and infrastructure like coal plants, oil sands, and pipelines to cleaner, renewable energy within five years if we are to avoid dangerous and irreversible damage to vital ecosystems that support global communities and economies.
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For more information, contact:
Dale Marshall, Climate Change Policy Analyst, 613-302-9913
Ian Bruce, Climate Change and Clean Energy Specialist, 604-732-4228, X 1275