Environment Minister Peter Kent today promised that Canada would have no part in the second phase of Kyoto, despite repeated and urgent calls from the world’s scientists for developed countries to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Going forward to negotiate a second commitment period under Kyoto is essential if we want a global agreement to reduce emissions. Canada has played the role of Kyoto saboteur as the only Kyoto country to reject and repudiate our own legally binding targets,” said Saanich-Gulf Island MP and Green Leader Elizabeth May in response to Kent’s remarks.
Kent pointed to the Copenhagen Accord as a replacement for participating in a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol; the first period emission reduction commitments expire at the end of 2012. “According to the IPCC, the Copenhagen Accord falls far short of necessary cuts to meet what Canada has said we must do globally – avoid hitting a global average temperature rise of two degrees Celsius on,” said May. “Copenhagen is not a product of the COP process, and is non-binding. It is not the way forward.”
Kent boasted of Canada’s progress in meeting the Harper Government’s target of a 17% reduction in carbon emissions below 2005 levels by 2020. This target has been widely criticized for being weaker than Canada’s Kyoto target of a 6 % emissions reduction from 1990 levels by 2012. The Harper Government’s target will actually lead to a 2.5% increase from 1990 levels.
“If we are so sure we can meet the new weaker target, then why not agree to a second commitment period and negotiate that as our legally binding target?” asked May. “Refusing to engage with the international community is irresponsible and tarnishes Canada’s global reputation even further.”
Elizabeth May will attend the COP 17 meetings in Durban, South Africa.