Arrgggh, Canada!

29 November 2011

We really thought thought Canada couldn’t get any worse . . .

But now credible reports are saying that before the end of the year, Canada is going to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. This can only be seen as an unacceptable breach of trust in the global climate talks, where the vast majority of the world recognizes the urgent need for meaningful action on climate change including a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

With the intention to abandon Kyoto next month, Canada is negotiating in outrageously bad faith here in Durban. Countries should be asking why Canada is sitting at the Kyoto negotiating table with a hardly-secret plan to withdraw from the protocol. They should demand to know Canada’s position, and if they really are planning to let the world down, they should immediately leave the KP negotiations.

Canada has been singled out as a global laggard on climate change in recent years, so this newest and grandest failure is not a surprise. In the midst of dire warnings about climate risk from even the International Energy Agency, Canada’s position is both dangerous and immoral.

Canada is acting on behalf of polluters, not people. It is no secret that Canada’s climate and energy policy is focused on rapidly expanding their tar sands oil production and attempting to kill clean energy policy abroad.

Yesterday, activists around the world protested against Canada’s push to open markets to dirty oil at the expense of the climate. In Canada, Greenpeace activists used LED emergency lights to write “Climate Fail” in huge letters on the lawn of Parliament — a message that is even stronger following yesterday’s revelations.

Demonstrations also took place in capitals including Paris, Berlin, Oslo and Stockholm as well as outside of the Department of Transport in London, protesting the UK’s support for allowing tar sands oil into the EU.

Canada’s plan is a slap in the face to the international community. Canada is isolating itself even more in these talks as a country that not only is refusing to take meaningful action at home, but also one that has lost the trust and respect of the international community here in Durban and around the world.

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