Wednesday, December 14, 2011

14/12 Canada widely criticized for withdrawal from Kyoto Protocol   2011-12-14 12:33:01

BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The international community Tuesday continued to lash out at Canada's decision to quit the Kyoto Protocol, the world's only legally-binding climate change pact.
Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), voiced regret over Canada's decision, saying the country still has a legal obligation to slash its emissions.

"I regret that Canada has announced it will withdraw and am surprised over its timing," Figueres said in a statement.
"Whether or not Canada is a party to the Kyoto Protocol, it has a legal obligation under the Convention to reduce its emissions, and a moral obligation to itself and future generations to lead in the global effort," she said.
"Industrialized countries, whose emissions have risen significantly since 1990, as is the case for Canada, remain in a weaker position to call on developing countries to limit their emissions," Figueres added.
She urged developed countries to meet their responsibilities under the UNFCCC and "raise their ambition to cut emissions and provide the agreed adequate support to developing countries to build their own clean energy futures and adapt to climate change impacts they are already experiencing."
On the Durban Platform, a package of decisions agreed by the 194 parties to the UNFCCC last weekend, Figueres said it represents the continued leaderships and commitment of developed countries to meet legally binding emission reduction commitments.
"It also provides the essential foundation of confidence for the new push towards a universal, legal climate agreement in the near future," she said.
In London, a spokesperson for the British government said Canada's withdrawal form the Protocol is "deeply regrettable."
"In the light of the success at Durban, ... Canada's decision to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol is deeply regrettable," the spokesperson for the British Department of Energy and Climate Change told Xinhua.
The spokesperson said financial investment in emission reduction was "far less expensive than the cost of inaction."
"That's why the other Kyoto Protocol parties such as Norway, Australia, New Zealand and the EU have been investing in a green and sustainable future," the spokesman added.
Greenpeace, an environmentalist group, also blasted Canada for pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol.
In a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Mike Hudema, a representative of Greenpeace Canada, said, "The Harper government has imposed a death sentence on many of the world's most vulnerable populations by pulling out of Kyoto."
Tim Gore, international climate change advisor for Oxfam, condemned Canada's decision.
"Canada's exit from the Kyoto Protocol, the one existing agreement that legally binds some countries to emission cuts targets, is an affront to the nearly 1 billion people who struggle every day to feed their families in the face of increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, heat waves and storms," Gore said.
Canada's decision is a "stark reminder" that the world lacks actions to address the needs of poor people who are fighting climate change, he said.
"Action is needed immediately and the European Union and developing countries must work hard to ensure that the intransigence of Canada and the U.S. does not drag the world in the wrong direction," Gore said.
He said Canada is abandoning its Kyoto obligations just as major countries of the world are striving for a new climate change deal.
"It is a real shame that a country with such strong record on many development issues would seek to undermine global action on climate change," Gore said.
Canada should join hands with other countries to "push for more ambition in terms of reduction of emissions before 2020," he said.
"If Canada is not willing it should step aside and at least not harm efforts of those who want to move forward," Gore added.
On Monday, Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent announced that the country has withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocol.
Canada, along with other signatories of the Kyoto Protocol, was required to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to below 1990 levels and provide funding to developing countries to eventually reduce their emissions. Canada ratified the accord in 1997.
Editor: Zhang Xiang

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