OTTAWA: Environment Minister Peter Kent says Canada will not renew its commitment to the Kyoto climate change protocol after it expires next year.
Speaking in a teleconference from an international climate-change summit in South Africa, Kent said Canada will not make a second commitment to Kyoto, which would run from 2013 to 2017.
Jean Chretien’s Liberal government signed onto Kyoto in 1998, but took little action to meet Canada’s targets to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
The Conservatives also ignored Kyoto after they came to power in 2006.
The Kyoto accord requires countries to make strict cuts to their greenhouse-gas emissions, but the Tories say making those reductions would hurt the economy.
The world’s biggest polluters – the US, China and India – are not part of Kyoto and the Conservatives argue that any agreement that does not include the big emitters is meaningless.
Canada is among those pushing for a single agreement to replace Kyoto that would include all countries.
Kent also announced a $1.2 billion contribution to support international efforts aimed at helping developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.
The three-year fast-start financing will focus on the poorest, most vulnerable countries; clean energy; and forests and agriculture.
An initial contribution of $400 million is already in play with additional investments of $600 million for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
© 2011 The Canadian Press with files from PLANT