Itâ€™s official, Canada has left the Kyoto Protocol.
Sadly, it’s not a massive shock.
The government announced its intentions to leave the global treaty on climate change last December, and showed no inclination during the recent Doha round of negotiations to backtrack.
â€” Judi Tyabji (@JudiTyabji) December 16, 2012
Few local news outlets covered the final withdrawal, and despite some rumblings on Twitter, there were no major protests in those final days.
â€” Chris Caple (@chriscaple) December 17, 2012
@zoecaron finally – other countries call out Canada for its shameful refusal to meet its Kyoto commitments.
â€” Samantha Smith (@pandaclimate) December 10, 2012
Perhaps much of the environmental sector were resigned to the decision by this weekend, hence the silence, but there were some groups reacting to the decision.
Stephan Taylor, Director of the National Citizens Coalition â€“ a lobby group for free enterprise â€“ was quick to show his support for the governmentâ€™s move.
Producing a diagram for the occasion, Taylor wrote on his Facebook page: â€śOne year ago, Canada declared it was opting-out of the Kyoto Protocol, beginning our one year exit from this money drain. Today is the first day of our freedom. I know I LIKE this, do you?â€ť
â€” Stephen Taylor (@stephen_taylor)Â December 15, 2012
Canadian politicians were also quick to set out their own positions.
With an election coming in 2015, they appear to be drawing the battle lines on what could end up a strong campaigning point.
Some MPs were quick to show their support for the decision. Tory MP Rob Anders called the Protocol a â€śtremendous waste of resources.â€ť
He said that Canadaâ€™s withdrawal does not threaten their credibility but in fact improves it. â€śWe were the first to say, the emperor wears no clothes,â€ť he said.
Day of shame
Elizabeth May, the countryâ€™s only Green MP, called the event â€śa day of shameâ€ť for the Canadian people.
â€śIt is the first treaty in the history of Canada that we have ever ratified and then repudiated and quit,â€ť she said. â€śThis decision threatens Canadaâ€™s standing in the world and, more importantly, our childrenâ€™s future.â€ť
â€śThis is a day of shame. Our children and grandchildren will harshly look back on Harperâ€™s years in power as a period of reckless disregard for future generations. Harperâ€™s Conservatives present us with a fake contradiction between environmental protection and a healthy economy.â€ť
Ahead of the Doha talks May warned RTCC that Canadaâ€™s unpunished withdrawal from the Protocol had also threatened the treatyâ€™s integrity as well as that of any future climate deal.
She said it would allow other nations to follow suit – and sadly she has been proved correct.
Since Canadaâ€™s announcement, New Zealand, Japan and Russia have all said they would not participate in the treatyâ€™s second commitment period. Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan are likely to abandon ship shortly.
But to date, Canada is still the only country to have left without completing the first commitment period.
Megan Leslie, from the NPD opposition party warned that the move would see Canada left behind as other countries begin their transition to greener economies.
â€śWhile the rest of the world is moving forward in the fight against climate change, Canada is falling behind,â€ť she said. â€śWe are leaving a huge ecological, economic and social debt to future generations.
â€śNew Democrats are more determined than ever to fight against the Conservativesâ€™ disastrous attacks on the environmentâ€¦ Today, we have nothing to celebrate. Let us work together to replace the Conservatives in 2015 and build a fairer, greener and more prosperous country.â€ť
Perhaps most saddened by Canadaâ€™s withdrawal, however, is Liberal MP Stephane Dion, on of the main players in Canada becoming a signatory of the Protocol.
He loved this treaty so much he named his dog Kyoto. â€śIâ€™m sad to say the dog is in better shape than the agreement it was name after,” he told the Toronto Sun.