In announcing the decision, government officials indicated that the possibility of huge fines for Canada’s failure to meet emissions targets had also played a role.Matt Horne, Director of Climate Change at the Pembina Institute, isn't happy:
“Kyoto, for Canada, is in the past,” the environment minister, Peter Kent, told reporters shortly after returning from South Africa. He added that Canada would work toward developing an agreement that includes targets for developing nations, particularly China and India.
“What we have to look at is all major emitters,” Mr. Kent said.
Under the Kyoto Protocol’s rules, Canada must formally give notice of its intention to withdraw by the end of this year or else face penalties after 2012.
The extent of those penalties, as well as Canada’s ability to redress its inability to meet the treaty’s emission reduction targets, is a matter of some debate.
Mr. Kent said Canada could meet its commitment only through extreme measures, like pulling all motor vehicles from its roads and shutting heat off to every building in the country. He said the Liberal Party had agreed to the treaty “without any regard as to how it would be fulfilled.”
He also said the failure to meet the targets would have cost Canada $14 billion in penalties.
“It’s not a surprise that it happened,” Mr. Horne said of the government’s decision to withdraw from the treaty. “But it is a bit of surprise that it happened pretty much as they got off the plane from Durban.”I love majority governments. Well done, Minister Kent.