Canada failing Kyoto Protocol commitments and the planet

Green Leader Elizabeth May today held a press conference about Canada’s dismal performance at the UN climate change negotiations now taking place in Bonn.  The negotiations started last Monday, June 6th and will conclude on Friday, part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which has been in place since the early 1990s.  The goal of the negotiations is to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases so as to mitigate the most dangerous impacts of climate change.

The current round of negotiations saw Canada for the first time formally declare an unwillingness to negotiate a second phase of Kyoto.  “It is beyond embarrassing and frustrating,” said May. “Canada is now a pariah on the international stage.  This is seen by other countries as a huge step backward in terms of dealing with the climate crisis.”

Along with Canada, Japan and the Russian Federation are also remaining outside of the second round of Kyoto negotiations, prompting a call from some of the small island states that these countries be expelled from the negotiations.

Other countries have now started a discussion about how to punish countries that violate Kyoto and UNFCCC. The current Kyoto Protocol extends to 2012; Canada has so far utterly failed to meet its promised emissions targets.

“Global carbon emissions continue to rise at an alarming rate.  Our government is not recognizing the incredible devastation that will result if we don’t get this under control,” said May.  According to the International Energy Agency, greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 were the highest on record.