China Criticizes Canada’s Withdrawal from Kyoto Protocol

Posted December 13th, 2011 at 7:00 am (UTC-5)
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China on Tuesday criticized Canada for pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol, saying the move goes against international efforts to combat climate change.

Canada on Monday became the first country to formally withdraw from the protocol, saying the agreement was not in its interests and would not help solve the global climate crisis.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin called the move “regrettable,” and said that Canada should “face up to its responsibilities.”

The Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, committed industrialized nations to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a set amount by 2012. But it does not legally bind developing nations, such as China and India, to take action on emissions.

China, the world’s largest emitter of carbon, has insisted that it should not be subject to the same standards as developed countries.

The U.S. never ratified the Kyoto pact, and has insisted any legally-binding agreement must also include developing nations.

Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent said Monday that the agreement cannot be effective if it does not limit the emissions of the world’s biggest polluters.

He said “The Kyoto Protocol does not cover the world’s largest two emitters, the United States and China, and therefore cannot work. It’s now clear that Kyoto is not the path forward to a global solution to climate change. If anything, it’s an impediment”

Kent said that Canada is open to addressing climate change, but that the current agreement would only further damage his country’s economy.

“The loss of thousands of jobs, or the transfer of $14 billion from Canadian taxpayers to other countries; the equivalent of $1600 from every Canadian family, with absolutely no impact on emissions or the environment. That’s the Kyoto cost to Canadians.”

Canada’s withdrawal comes after representatives from 194 countries at a U.N. climate conference in Durban, South Africa agreed to negotiate an accord that will legally bind countries to take action to slow the pace of climate change.

Under the agreement reached Sunday, industrial countries will have to adhere to the Kyoto Protocol for at least another five years after it expires in 2012.