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Figueres expresses ‘regret’ at Canadian withdrawal from Kyoto

By RTCC Staff

Figueres has called on developed countries to continue to cut emissions. (Source: UN/Paulo Filguiras)

Canada’s confirmation that it will withdraw from the Kyoto profile is regretful, according to UNFCCC Chief Christiana Figueres.

Figueres also called on the country to act on its “moral obligations”.

“I regret that Canada has announced it will withdraw and am surprised over its timing,” said Figueres. “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.”

“Industrialised 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,” she said.

The country had pledged to reduce its Greenhouse Gas emissions by 6% compared to 1990 levels by 2012 and instead has seen them rise by 17 percent.

“For Canada, Kyoto is in the past,” said Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister both on the rostrum in Durban on December 6 and in Toronto on Monday.

He denied that Canada was not doing its part for the climate and said that “Canada is carrying its weight, and proud to be doing its share”.

Kent has said that the Protocol is meaningless as it does not include major emitters such as the US and China.

An agreement in Durban to pursue negotiations for a legally binding deal that incorporates all nations will take force by 2020 at the earliest, leaving a gap of eight years without legal emission pledges. The terms for a second commitment period of Kyoto will be agreed upon at COP18 in Qatar.

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