Canada announced on Monday, 12th of December, that it would leave the 1997 treaty which aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While Canada was among those nations which committed to the treaty in 1997, the nation’s current Conservative Party led government had given ample indications that it was considering a departure from the treaty.

The Canadian government cited the impracticality and severity of the measures required to achieve its set targets as well as concerns surrounding the severe economic penalties the country could face in the future as playing a major role in the decision. Estimates regarding the size of these fines vary from $14 billion, a figure quoted by Canada’s environment minister, Peter Kent, to $6billion or $9 billion. The timing of Canada’s withdrawal was motivated by the impending year-end deadline, after which the country would have been liable to face such penalties after 2012.

The decision comes in the aftermath of the Durban climate convention and comments made Mr. Kent echoed the concerns of many Western nations expressed at the convention. Kent expressed a continued commitment to developing a treaty which would impose binding restrictions on all emitters, including developing countries such as China and India.

Source: Reuters report

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