For immediate release
(Durban, South Africa) The Canadian Government is planning to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol next month. As the majority of countries have arrived in Durban in good faith to negotiate a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, and a fair ambitious and binding deal to address global climate change, this is a serious breach of trust by the Canadian Government.
“The Canadian Government is here negotiating in outrageously bad faith,” said Hannah McKinnon of Climate Action Network Canada. “This is an unacceptable breach of trust at global climate talks where the vast majority of the world recognizes the urgent need for meaningful action on climate change and a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.”
Countries will be negotiating the future of the Kyoto Protocol here in Durban, a process that is reserved for countries that have ratified the protocol. Countries that have not ratified the protocol do not participate in this part of the negotiations. Extending the Kyoto Protocol is critical to building trust and ensuring global greenhouse gas reductions while the world continues to negotiate the next fair, ambitious and binding climate deal. Canada would be the first country to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol.
“Countries should be asking themselves why Canada is sitting at the Kyoto negotiating table with a secret plan to formally withdrawal from the protocol mere weeks after the talks end,” says Patrick Bonin of AQPLA. “Countries should demand Canada state their position now, and if they really are planning to let the world down, they should immediately leave the Kyoto Protocol negotiating table.”
Canada has been singled out as a global laggard on climate change over recent years winning the ‘colossal fossil’ for the country that has done the most to undermine progress at the climate talks for the past 4 years in a row. In the midst of dire warnings from the likes of the International Energy Agency, Canada’s position is both dangerous and immoral.
“Canada is here acting on behalf of polluters, not people. It is no secret that Canada’s climate and energy policy is focused on rapidly expanding the tar sands and attempting to kill clean energy policy abroad,” says Robin Tress of the Canadian Youth Delegation. “At these climate negotiations Canada stands alone in its unabashed representation of dirty oil.”
“This move is a slap in the face to the international community,” says Steven Guilbeault of Equiterre. “Canada is further isolating itself in these talks as a country that not only is refusing to take meaningful action at home, but also one that does not deserve trust and respect from the international community here in Durban. If they are here to sabotage Kyoto they should stay home.”
Civil society would welcome more information on this issue from the Canadian government.
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