Just hours after returning from COP17 in South Africa, Peter Kent, Canadaâ€™s environment minister, announced that the country would use their legal right and become the first country to quit the Kyoto Protocol.
Kent claimed that the Kyoto protocol â€œwill not workâ€ when China and USA is not participating and that the global climate change agreement doesnâ€™t â€œrepresent a way forward for Canada".
The Kyoto protocol, Kent said, would force Canada to implement â€œradical and irresponsible actionâ€ that would result in â€œthe loss of thousands of jobs.â€ Kent also expressed criticism against Canadaâ€™s obligation under the protocol to transfer about $14 billion to poorer countries to help them to mitigate and respond to the effects of climate change.
And so the conservative government in Canada ignores both the economical differences between the North and the South as well as the historical responsibility Canada has when it comes to climate change.
But why is Canada really withdrawing from the Kyoto protocol? The Canadian government blames it on USA for not being part of the global climate treaty, saying it stops Canada from competing economically on the world market. But others say that the real reason is Canadaâ€™s climate killing tar sands.
Back in Europe, another conservative government led by PM David Cameron has secretly been helping Canada to push its dirty and deadly tar sands project on EU markets. Conservative governments and politicians around the world are busy trying to delay the implementation of climate policies and now even abandoning the worldâ€™s only global climate treaty. At the same time socialistic governments are trying to device the â€œradicalâ€ changes needed to confront the climate crisis. Such as the red and green coalition in Denmark which has set plans in motion to completely end their reliance on fossil fuels.
So what does Canada's withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol mean? Considering the fact that Canada has increased their greenhouse gas emissions with nearly 20% since 1990 they never really were a part of the Kyoto protocol anyway. So for the climate crisis it doesnâ€™t do much difference. But future UN negotiations will certainly become even more polarized and the mistrust created will surely delay, or in worse case even sabotage, efforts to secure a global climate deal for 2020 and beyond. But one thing that is painfully clear now is that a legally binding climate deal does not guarantee countries won't ignore or walk away from their commitments.