La Presse reports this afternoon that, “The Liberal Party of Canada and the Bloc Quebecois denounced the alleged refusal of Canada to Cancun to commit to an extension of the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.”

“(The Harper government has said that it) would refuse a further period of mandatory reductions of greenhouse gas emissions for the 36 signatories of the protocol (beyond 2012).”

“Environmental groups and citizens including Equiterre and the Council of Canadians, have responded by strongly condemning this decision.” In fact, the Council of Canadians was the first to make public that Canada had joined Japan and Russia in opposing an extension of the Kyoto Protocol.

“(The Bloc’s) Bernard Bigras (says)the Conservative government ‘wants to tear at the bottom after the Kyoto Protocol to return to a less restrictive agreement in the fight against climate change.'”

“(Liberal) Stephane Dion (says), ‘It’s a decision that is taken for five years. It’s been five years since Mr. Harper sent his ministers to…filibuster, if not sabotage, in international negotiations.'”

“Reached by telephone, a spokesman for the Minister of the Environment, John Baird, said the Harper government does not block the extension of the Kyoto Protocol. He said the government wanted a measure that would include all major emitters of greenhouse gases, like China. He added that the Harper government also wants a binding agreement.”

Le Devoir reported yesterday that a spokesperson for Baird said that, “It’s not a matter of killing Kyoto. Kyoto is still in place and will be in place until 2012.”

That said, one of the primary goals of COP 16 was to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol’s next commitment phase, which is set to begin in January 2013.

The Council of Canadians has stated that while the Harper government has long denounced the Kyoto accord, it now appears to be leading other countries away from legally binding targets at the Cancun summit.

Brent Patterson, Director of Campaigns and Communications, Council of Canadians


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Brent Patterson

Brent Patterson is a political activist, writer and the executive director of Peace Brigades International-Canada. He lives in Ottawa on the traditional, unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Algonquin...