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Canada’s withdrawal from Kyoto is an affront to the world’s poor

Canada’s withdrawal from Kyoto is an affront to the world’s poor

December 13, 2011

In reaction to the announcement by Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent that the Canadian government is going to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, Tim Gore, International Climate Change Advisor for Oxfam, said:

“Canada’s exit from the Kyoto Protocol, the one existing agreement that legally binds some countries to emission cuts targets, is an affront to the nearly one billion people who struggle every day to feed their families in the face of increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, heat waves and storms.

“It’s a stark reminder that the world is not doing enough to address the needs of the world and in particular poor people fighting climate change right now. The risk of a ten year timeout in doing more than what was pledged two years ago in Copenhagen is far too high — action is needed immediately and the European Union and developing countries must work hard to ensure that the intransigence of Canada and the US does not drag the world in the wrong direction.”

“Canada has failed to cut its emissions under Kyoto's first phase, arguing that it would only act if the US and emerging economies did so too. Just days after these very same countries have agreed at the climate talks in Durban to negotiate a new deal that would cut their emissions in the future, and despite no requirement for Canada to increase the emissions cuts target agreed two years ago in Copenhagen, Canada has decided to withdraw from the Protocol.

"It is a real shame that a country with such strong record on many development issues would seek to undermine global action on climate change. We want Canada to join the coalition of countries, led by the European Union and the most vulnerable and poorest countries, that are pushing for more ambition in terms of reduction of emissions before 2020. If Canada is not willing it should step aside and at least not harm efforts of those who want to move forward."

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More information

Juliet O’Neill
Oxfam Canada
Media Officer

Lucy Brinicombe
Senior Press Officer
Oxfam Media Unit
+44 (0)1865 472192
+44 (0)7786 110054
Twitter: @lucybrinicombe

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