Canada is raising eyebrows both at home and abroad for announcing it will not sign onto the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol. Peter Kent, Canada's Minister of the Environment, made the announcement today in Durban, South Africa. The current agreement expires at the end of 2012.
Like the U.S., Canada has an entrenched liberal media. Consider the lead sentence written by staff writers at CTV:
China's willingness to consider cutting back on emissions has failed to change Canada's rigid position on the Kyoto accord.
And what exactly is China willing to consider? Well, not all that much really. China, which is exempt from Kyoto's provisions despite becoming the world's largest emitter of carbon in 2007, indicated it would be willing to cut emissions only if industrial countries first met their current Kyoto targets and extended them. China knows full well that all of the signatories aren't going reduce their emissions below 1990 levels. They were unrealistic targets in the first place and China knows it. So it's easy for China to make a promise it knows it won't have to keep.
Peter Kent, Canada's Minister of the Environment, sees right through China's smokescreen. Kent stated, "We haven't seen any detail yet. We look forward to China bringing its proposal to the conference. But with regards to Canada not taking a second Kyoto commitment period, that would not change our position." Kent knows full well that China will submit a proposal to reduce its carbon emissions at about the same it gets around to proclaiming Tibet as an autonomous region. Kudos to Canada's Conservative government for remaining steadfast and resisting the temptation to bow to China.
The United States, of course, wisely never signed the Kyoto Protocol. The U.S. Senate rejected Kyoto on June 25, 1997 by a vote of 95-0.
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