Canada has announced its withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol on Monday, citing the anti-global warming treaty will not help curb climate change.
Peter Kent, Canadian Environmental Minister has told AP that Kyoto doesn't work for Canada or the world.
"The Kyoto Protocol does not cover the world's largest two emitters, United States and China, and therefore cannot work," said Kent. "It's now clear that Kyoto is not the path forward to a global solution to climate change. If anything it's an impediment."
Last year, Canada said it would not accept any new commitments from the climate change plan, but its announcement to withdraw has upset many others who believe in the protocol’s goal.
A representative of Climate Action Network Canada, Hannah McKinnon, condemned Canada’s pulling out in a statement.
"It's a total abdication of our responsibilities," McKinnon said.
Both Russia and Japan have sided with Canada on not accepting any new commitments.
Kent made his announcement to withdraw Canada from the protocol just one day after climate talks with negotiators from almost 200 countries ended in Durban, South Africa, drawing even more speculation.
In Durban, negotiators agreed on a deal that would have world leaders sign a new climate treaty by 2015 to replace Kyoto’s first plan.
In Monday’s statement, Kent expressed his inclination to the Durban agreement. "It allows us to continue to create jobs and growth in Canada," said Kent.
Kent, a long-time opponent of the Kyoto plan approved by Canada’s past liberal leaders, does not foresee the plan’s goals being feasibly met by Canada.
"To meet the targets under Kyoto for 2012 would be the equivalent of either removing every car, truck, ATV, tractor, ambulance, police car and vehicle of every kind from Canadian roads or closing down the entire farming and agriculture sector and cutting heat to every home, office, hospital, factory and building in Canada," Kent said in a statement.
Canada is home to the world's third-largest oil reserve, behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Conservatives do not wish to compromise Canada’s prosperous reserves, although they can lead to harmful greenhouse gas emissions, critics say.
Megan Leslie, member of the opposing New Democrat Party, thinks Kent’s decision to pull out is due to Canada’s own failure, and not Kyoto’s goals.
"It's like we're the kid in school who knows they're gonna fail the class, so we have to drop it before that actually happens," Leslie said in a statement.
The Kyoto Protocol, created to fight global warming, was approved in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997. As of Sept. 2011, 191 countries have signed the protocol.
The United States has never signed up to the protocol over its 14 year history and has received widespread criticism for its reluctance. The Kyoto Protocol will expire at the end of next year.