The announcement of Canada’s withdrawal from the Kyoto treaty on climate change is a symbolic blow.
Canadian Environment Minister, Peter Kent, says it’s useless.
“The Kyoto protocol does not cover the world’s two-largest emitters, China and the United States, and therefore cannot work. It’s now clear that Kyoto is not the path forward for a global solution to climate change. If anything it’s an impediment.”
Canada is the first nation to formally withdraw from the treaty, although it’s not yet clear when that will happen.
It said little during recent climate talks in South Africa, where countries agreed to extend the Kyoto protocol and hammer out a new deal to force big polluters to cut greenhouse emissions.
Canada’s government says it would face penalties of more than 13 billion U.S. dollars for failing to reach its target cuts by 2012.
But the decision to quit will not help Canada’s international reputation.
It’s a major energy producer, which critics say is becoming a climate renegade.