COP 17 talks under threat by Kyoto pullout

2011-11-30 09:11
Durban - A Canadian pullout of the Kyoto Protocol would badly damage a UN climate process already weakened by divisions, negotiators and NGOs said on Tuesday at talks in Durban.

"For countries that are historically responsible for the problem to explicitly back out would undermine the process and the credibility of what we are trying to do," said Seyni Nafo, spokesperson for the 54-nation Africa Group in the UN forum.

"How are we to going to ask India and China to do more when Canada is saying, 'OK, we're checking out of the Kyoto Protocol?"

On Monday, Environment Minister Peter Kent, speaking in Ottawa, said Canada "will not make a second commitment to Kyoto".

New agreement wanted

He refused to confirm or deny reports that his country had already decided to formally pull out of the pact.

Kent said Canada's goal was "a new international agreement, eventually binding, which would include all the major developed and developing emitters".

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathers 194 countries under a process launched under the 1992 Rio Summit.

Tension at the annual talks, running in Durban until December 9, is running high over the fate of Kyoto, the only global accord that specifies curbs in greenhouse gases.

Current pledges by rich countries under Kyoto expire at the end of 2012.

Several key nations beside Canada, including Japan and Russia, have said they will not renew their vows.

They say a second commitment period is senseless so long as emerging giants and the US, which has refused to ratify the Protocol, are not bound by the treaty's constraints.

Formal withdrawal

Even the European Union (EU), a consistent champion of the treaty, says its continued support is conditional.

But the bigger question is one of formal withdrawal.

If Canada did so, it would be the first country to abandon the agreement after ratifying it, an action that would carry a symbolic wallop.

Nafo and others at the Durban talks that got underway on Monday emphasised that Canada has not yet withdrawn from the treaty.

"If I understand it correctly, there is some internal thinking on going on Canada's position on the KP," said the EU's chief negotiator, Artur Runge-Metzger.

"Of course if they would leave the Kyoto Protocol, that would be a sad thing."

Green groups angry

Green groups reacted angrily to the prospect of a Canada pullout.

"If confirmed, it would be extremely disappointing," said Tasneem Essop, head of international climate strategy for WWF.

"It would have an impact on the Canadian government's ability to enter into these negotiations with credibility," she told AFP.

"Canada pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol would set an extremely bad precedent here at the talks. It can do nothing but further enhance the mistrust that already exists between rich and poor nations," said Ilana Solomon of ActionAid.

Japan repeated on Tuesday that it would not renew its Kyoto vows, but said it had no intention of a formal withdrawal.

"We believe that there are good elements in the Kyoto Protocol," said Masahiko Horie, ambassador for global environment affairs.

Canada agreed under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce CO2 emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012, but emissions have instead increased. Pulling out of Kyoto would allow Canada to avoid paying penalties for missing its targets.
- SAPA

Read more on:    canada  |  climate change  |  cop 17  |  kyoto protocol
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
37 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Cape Town - 12:40 PM
    Road name: M5 Southbound
    ACCIDENT at Kromboom Road
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R4300.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.