News24

China decries Canada's 'bad example'

2011-11-30 10:45

Beijing - Canada's failure to deny reports that it is about to ditch the Kyoto Protocol is "setting a bad example" to other developed nations as global climate change talks enter their third day, China's official news agency said on Wednesday.

Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent said on Monday that Kyoto was "the past", but he would not confirm media reports that Ottawa was planning to formally withdraw from the treaty, one of the main topics of global climate talks now under way in Durban, South Africa.

Canada says it backs a new global deal to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, but insists it has to cover all nations, including China and India, which are not bound by Kyoto's current targets.

The commentary published by Xinhua news agency accused Canada of undermining global efforts against climate change and damaging its own reputation in pursuit of short-term interests.

"While delegations from every country attend the Durban climate conference to discuss a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, one can imagine the damage done by this 'rumour'," Xinhua said.

"Some are angry and some are depressed, but whatever the expression made by each delegation, they are united in their criticism of Canada."

The commentary said Canada's failure to meet its Kyoto Protocol targets had encouraged it to write off the protocol and thereby "smash a pot to pieces just because it is cracked".

The Kyoto Protocol obliged signatory countries from the developed world to make mandatory cuts in their total greenhouse gas emissions by 2012, when the first commitment period ends.

Breakthrough

Canada was obliged to slash CO2 by 6% compared to 1990, but by 2009, the total was still 17% higher.

Canada was also likely to be using the rumours to try to secure a favourable breakthrough during the Durban talks, Xinhua said, and "as soon as the negotiations do not meet its expectations, it will allow the rumours to become reality".

If Canada pulls out of Kyoto, it will join the United States on the sidelines of a treaty originally designed to force rich nations with far higher historical levels of greenhouse gas emissions to take on most of the burden when it comes to handling climate change.

Developing nations like China and India were not under any obligation to make binding CO2 cuts under the treaty, and also received funding for clean projects through Kyoto's Clean Development Mechanism.

Russia and Japan have refused to support an extension of Kyoto beyond 2012, saying that the treaty is meaningless if the biggest emitters - China and the United States - do not sign up for binding cuts.

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Comments
  • Larry - 2011-11-30 10:58

    China has got to be joking? Talk about the Pot calling the Kettle Black! I would prefer to breath the Air in Canada than China, any day.

      andynct - 2011-11-30 11:20

      Canada pollutes 4x China on per capita basis.

      stevie0064 - 2011-11-30 12:00

      @Andrew How many new coal-fired power plants is Canada building? Last I checked, China was building about 570 coal-fired power plants, of roughly the equivalent size of our Matimba plant near Lephalale. And at the schedule they were building, one plant would be finished every 5 days. I reckon the statistic that Canada pollutes 4x what China does will very soon be out the window.

      horan.mark - 2011-11-30 12:05

      Canada's per capita pollution may be higher but there population is 15 million as opposed to over 1 billion, do the maths. I'm with Canada the Kyoto protocol is bollox whether or not the science behind global warming is valid. I believe in cleaner technologies and a more vigorous drive for their implementation.

      Johan - 2011-11-30 12:29

      Go Canada!

      Spyker - 2011-11-30 13:02

      @Andrew.., Quoting 'per capita' stats on carbon emissions is simple BS. Carbon emissions are about absolutes - eg ten people each making a coal fire, is far worse to the environment, than one person making a coal fire four times the size of one of the aforementioned. Get it..? China's atmosphere is one the worst polluted on earth. People have to walk around with gas-masks. Remember the Beijing Olympic Games - they had to completely shut down all the industries. SA is the same - we have some of the dirtiest air in the world, while we pay a fortune for electricity (well, those who do actually - viz the millions of parasites excluded) and the execs get record salaries - some of the best in the world... The Durban circus was painfully predictable - it would be little more than a political spat. The 'Developing World' would not exist today, if it was not for the world created by the 'Developed World', not to mention the West's unending benevolence towards the feckless 3rd world that cannot even feed itself.

  • Kobus - 2011-11-30 10:59

    Show them the finger Canada. Whom are they to talk?

  • Gerhard Nel - 2011-11-30 11:33

    I can't blame the Canadians, they sure can do with a bit warmer weather.

  • Hallo - 2011-11-30 11:33

    Do some research on how Canada is ravaging the artic pole with their oil and gas explorations and see how they are no better and probably worse than China.

      Ernst - 2011-11-30 11:39

      As well as the Alberta tarsands and the Keystone oil pipeline.

      StarStruck - 2011-11-30 11:51

      Canada and the US could still be sceptical about global warming.

  • Lee - 2011-11-30 11:45

    It has become so patently obvious that the 3rd World is only in for the money, that I'm surprised it's taken so long for developed nations like Canada to wake up!

  • stevie0064 - 2011-11-30 11:56

    What is the point of extending a protocol that doesn't apply to the largest offenders? The Kyoto Protocol is not within the realm of common sense. I'm with Canada, Russia, and Japan on this one.

  • StarStruck - 2011-11-30 11:58

    Canada and the US will only addapt to new technologies once they have exhausted all other options. The fastest way to reduce the Global CO2 emissions would be if the Oil fields could dry up. Then we would have no choice but to either convert our current cars or buy the alternative. Think about it...

      Breinlekkasie - 2011-11-30 12:39

      What new technologies? None of these technologies are current viable. They are expensive and cannot produce the volumes of energy required. If one should cover the whole of South Africa with windmills it will still not produce enough energy to supply in our current demand.

  • Poloyatonki - 2011-11-30 12:17

    Durban climate conference is more like a group of morons setting under the sun talking about the melting ice in their backsides.

  • gcshrimpton - 2011-11-30 16:20

    Go Canada GO!

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