By Stephen Leahy
TORONTO, Dec 2 (Tierramérica) – Much to the surprise of most Canadians and the world community, Canada is reneging on its international commitments under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which could weaken an international agreement to fight climate change after Kyoto expires in 2012.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, elected early this year, and the new environment minister, Rona Ambrose, have dismissed Canada’s Kyoto commitments for reducing greenhouse gases as impossible to achieve.
They have also cancelled a five-million-dollar pledge to help least developed countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and have withdrawn Canada’s participation and funding of the Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
“That’s totally irresponsible… It’s a slap in the face to the people of small island states and Inuit people of the North,” said Enele Sopoaga, permanent representative of Tuvalu to the United Nations. His small island country in the South Pacific is experiencing flooding due to rising sea levels.
“I am extremely frustrated by the double standards of industrialized nations. Canada criticizes other countries about their human rights policies or about the death penalty while they are playing with the lives of island people and the Inuit,” Sopoaga said in a Tierramérica interview.