Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Canada Announces Withdrawl From Kyoto Climate Change Treaty

In a continuing trend of showing better judgement than their American counterparts, the Conservative government of Canadian PM Stephen Harper announced this week at a United Nations climate conference announced that they were invoking their right to no longer participate in the 1997 Kyoto protocols which were purportedly designed to reduce greenhouse emissions among industrialized nations.

The previous ruling government had initially signed onto the treaty, but Harper's Environment minister Peter Kent said that the Kyoto treaty as it's structured did nothing to address pollution from growing economies such as Brazil and China while putting an onerous economic burden on Canada if it were to comply with Kyoto.
Kent's announcement comes a day after marathon climate talks wrapped up in the South African port city of Durban.

Canada faced international criticism at the recent climate talks in South Africa amid reports it would pull out of Kyoto.

Harper's Conservative government is reluctant to hurt Canada's booming oil sands sector, which is the country's fastest growing source of greenhouse gases and a reason it has reneged on its Kyoto commitments.

Canada has the world's third largest oil reserves, more than 170 billion barrels. Daily production of 1.5 million barrels from the oil sands is expected to increase to 3.7 million in 2025. Only Saudi Arabia and Venezuela have more reserves. But critics say the enormous amount of energy and water needed in the extraction process increases greenhouse gas emissions.
Among the proposals floated around the Durban conference was a punitive 'climate tax' on American goods exported and the establishment of an international 'climate court' designed to redistribute wealth from industrialized nations to developing countries.

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