From its perch above one of the world’s biggest polluters, Canada’s conservative government decided it would be too expensive and pointless to meet its obligations to the Kyoto Protocol.

Neither the U.S. nor China, who provide much of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, are signatories and the new climate agreement in Durban may have made it easier for Stephen Harper’s government to push the eject button.


[Canada’s Minister of the Environment Peter Kent] said meeting Canada’s obligations under Kyoto would cost $13.6bn (10.3bn euros; £8.7bn): “That’s $1,600 from every Canadian family — that’s the Kyoto cost to Canadians, that was the legacy of an incompetent Liberal government”. He said that despite this cost, greenhouse emissions would continue to rise as two of the world’s largest polluters — the US and China — were not covered by the Kyoto agreement.

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