The Green Party of Canada is appalled by the Harper government’s decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. “It is extremely shocking that Canada has chosen to withdraw just days after the conclusion of the Durban negotiations,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, who was in Durban for COP17. “It is simply outrageous disinformation that there is a $14 billion cost to staying in Kyoto. Staying in the Kyoto Protocol will not cost us a cent. What will cost billions is if we do nothing to address climate change.”
“Canada should be continuing in Kyoto and negotiating the targets that would be palatable for this government. By withdrawing, we become a pariah on the world stage,” said May.
The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, in its report “Paying the Price: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change for Canada”, estimates that the cost of Canada’s failure to act on climate change will range from $5 billion per year by 2020 to as high as $91 billion per year by 2050. Impacts on forests and coastal areas will be particularly felt in terms of hits to the Canadian economy. An increase in flooding, wildfires, heat waves, and poor air quality has already resulted in increased death and destruction of property. Canada’s insurance sector is seeing costs from storms and wildfire escalating rapidly.
“Refusing to be a part of the global effort to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate will put Canada behind economically as other countries make investments in efficiencies and renewable energy. Canada has an opportunity to capitalize on a green economy and instead we are clinging to fossil fuels,” said May. “Withdrawing from Kyoto is an appalling decision. It will only hurt us—economically and environmentally.”