Canada out of Kyoto

‘This decision formalizes what we’ve said since 2006’


Freshly returned from Durban, Peter Kent announces a withdrawal from Kyoto.

“We are invoking Canada’s legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto,” Kent said outside the House of Commons. “This decision formalizes what we’ve said since 2006, that we will not implement the Kyoto Protocol.”

Canada signed Kyoto in the late 1990s, but neither the current Conservative government nor their Liberal predecessors met targets. Kent says the move saves Canada $14 billion in penalties for not achieving its Kyoto targets.

Andrew Leach has tried to sort out the idea that staying in Kyoto would actually mean, so far as penalties might be concerned. More from Andrew here and here.

Full statement from the Environment Minister after the jump.

I have just returned from Durban, South Africa where countries of the world, Canada included, made it clear:

We are committed to working together to address climate change in a way that is, for countries big and small, rich or poor, fair, effective and comprehensive and allows us to continue to create jobs and growth in Canada. 

Canada went to Durban in a spirit of good will. We went committed to being constructive. We went looking to reach an international climate change agreement that covers all major emitters.

As we said from the outset, the Kyoto Protocol did not represent the path forward for Canada. The Durban Platform is a way forward that builds on our work at Copenhagen and Cancun.

Before this week, the Kyoto Protocol covered less than 30% of global emissions. Now it covers less than 13% — and that number is only shrinking. The Kyoto Protocol does not cover the world’s two largest emitters – the United States and China – and therefore will not work.

It is now clear that Kyoto is not the path forward for a global solution to climate change; instead, it is an impediment.

We believe that a new agreement, with legally binding commitments for all major emitters, that allows us as a country to continue to generate jobs and economic growth, represents the path forward.

Increasingly, support is growing for Canada’s position – from the EU, to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, least developed countries and the group of 43 small island states.

Canada will work towards a legally binding agreement to address global emissions that allows us to continue creating jobs and economic growth in Canada.

Domestically, we will continue to do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

At home, Canada and our partners at other levels of government have taken decisive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are already well on our way to meeting the commitment we made in Copenhagen by reducing green house gas emissions by 17 per cent over 2005 levels by 2020.

We are also helping developing countries do their part with investments that will help them reduce their emissions and deal with the effects of climate change.

Canada, though, cannot do it alone.

We produce just a tiny, two per cent of global emissions.

But because a previous Liberal government signed on to Kyoto in 1997 with no intention of ever meeting targets – then did nothing for years – Canada was lagging well behind by 2006.

While our government has taken action since 2006 to make real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, under Kyoto Canada is facing radical and irresponsible choices if we are to avoid punishing MULTI-BILLION dollar payments.

To meet the targets under Kyoto for 2012 would be the equivalent of:

o Either removing every car, truck, ATV, tractor, ambulance, police car and vehicle of every kind from Canadian roads.

o Or, closing down the entire farming and agricultural sector and cutting heat to every home, office, hospital, factory and building in Canada.

The cost of not taking this type of radical and irresponsible action?

The loss of thousands of jobs or the transfer of $14 BILLION from Canadian taxpayers to other countries – the equivalent of $1600 from every Canadian family — with no impact on emissions or the environment.

That’s the Kyoto cost to Canadians. 

And here’s the kicker: global emissions would keep rising because Kyoto doesn’t cover the major emitters, like the United States and China, which is why Kyoto doesn’t work.

As we have said, Kyoto – for Canada – is in the past. As such, we are invoking our legal right to formally withdraw from Kyoto. This decision formalizes what we have said since 2006 that we will not implement the Kyoto Protocol.

We remain committed to negotiating an international climate change agreement that works. That means getting a pact that involves all the major emitters.

We will work toward this in the coming weeks and months.

It will not be easy but it is important.

And Canada will continue to be willing partner with those looking to address Kyoto’s many failings, while also ensuring major emitters live up to binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gases.


Canada out of Kyoto

  1. Not a surprise, but certainly stupid.

    But then Cons are the Party of Stupid.

    • Stupid if only you assume that spending billions of dollars chasing a pipe dream of irrational and misrepresented “science” is a good thing.

      Not a surprise that you would be the first to try and twist this into anything other than a rational decision.  

      • Hmm… can you point out where this government has said man-made global warming is a hoax? I didn’t read anything about pipe dreams or misrepresented science.

        If this government is the government that stood up to the ‘climate change agenda’, they sure did it in a lily-livered kind of way.

        • But they still did it didn’t they.

          • Did they? If you take the minister’s comments at face value, the government is going to leave Kyoto and replace it with another climate-change agreement. If you don’t believe in AGW, any agreement, and any time or money spent on negotiating said agreement, is a complete waste. They stood up to Kyoto. They didn’t stand up against man-made global warming theory at all.

          • Yes they did. The government is now pushing for a global carbon reductions agreement, that means everyone is in. No countries are exempt, the playing field is even. That means China, India, almost all of Europe and the USA must pay Canada to offset their carbon emissions. Our government knows that is never going to going to happen.

          • in reply to Klem…

            OK, so, the government is going to spend money on negotiations that will fail, on an issue that wasn’t real to begin with? Is that where you and Conservatives are going with this?

          • Yup pretty much.

            Your Liberal and Conservative governments have been spending money on failed negotiations, on an issue that wasn’t real to begin with, for at least 15 years now. Remember, the Libs signed Kyoto in 1997. And your government will continue to spend money on negotiations, on an issue that isn’t real to begin with, for decades to come.


      • We’ve been signatories on Kyoto since day one.

        • And you call us Cons the ‘Party of Stupid’ …?


          • This comment was deleted.

          • And superstitious! Remember, garlic in the toe of my cowboy boot….

          • yah, that’s the coalition of losers forcing the Harper govt to live up to Kyoto….like I said 

          • @7ce5c5acfbe2fe517a81117688c26659:disqus 

            I think the blue kool-aid has seeped into your brain pan and drowned it.

            You aren’t even on topic

    • The cons represent the Romanticism of Ignorance.  In fact, it’s a prerequisiste to joining their herd.

      • LOL an Oath of Ignorance!

      • Well that explains the CPC winning 166 seats,
        and the LPC booted to 3rd party status with 34 seats,
        Libbers are not romantic enough 

        • 60% of the country didn’t vote for Harper

          PS ‘romanticism’ isn’t the same as ‘romantic’

          • oh come on, are you still using that tired old saw? using your logic, 77% didn’t vote for the Liberals, 68% didn’t vote for the dippers and perhaps most significantly about 96% didn’t vote for the greens. Pathetic as usual.

          • LOL sorry, but 60% of Canadians didn’t vote for your boy.

            Live with it.

        • Hmmm, the CPC. You must mean the Conservative Party of Canada.

          Is that what you mean? The Conservative Party of Canada.  That would be the Conservative Party of Canada that you are referring to right? I think by CPC you mean the Conservative Party of Canada.

          Brought to you by… can you guess…. the Conservative Party of Canada.


  2. Hopefully this Durban nonsense will also die a natural death.

    The U.N. asked researchers politely to stop the advocacy, to no avail, and thus one of the top speakers at Durban prattles on about ‘saving the planet’.

    A billion years worth of CO2/thermal correlations and hockey-stick heatings has neither put a dent in the earth, nor stopped the rise of speciation. Indeed, the Cretaceous-Tertiary event only presaged the dominance of mammals, the rise of primates, and then us.

    This carbo-phobic nonsense is the bette noir of Starbucks latté swillers who assuage their consciences by thinking of something other than the rise and legitimation of global sweatshops.

    Coming to a city near you.

    • Huh. I just re-read the minister’s statement, and I didn’t see anything about ‘carbo-phobic nonsense’.

      Here’s what I read: ‘We remain committed to negotiating an international climate change agreement that works. That means getting a pact that involves all the major emitters.’

      If this government figures that global warming is a hoax, it has a funny way of showing it.

      • He meant that anything that they’ll only accept an agreement that allows Canada to have a total emission footprint equal to China, not something as totally unfair as a per capita measure…

        • ???  I thought we had a high per capita footprint?

          • meant to be a snarky joke….for a “do nothing” government.

      • I’d say the Conservatives are taking the same way out of a climate agreement that the Liberals took to get out of the Iraq war. “We’ll participate if the UN sanctions it” said Chretien…knowing it would be a cold day in hell that THAT would ever happen.

        I’d say the Conservatives see the writing on the wall for the climate change industry, and are happy just to keep stalling and let the whole movement collapse on itself. The last 3 “agreements” achieved at these conferences have been a joke, and resulted in nothing more than a promise to have more agreements someday. The media barely even covered Durban. Hell, we got 11 Fossil of the Day awards, almost 4 times as many as any other country, and hardly got any bad press for it! Meanwhile, the “settled” science is getting taken apart piece by piece. In a couple of years they’ll be lucky if they can get 10% of the world emitters to commit to any kind of reduction.

        I’d prefer the Czech approach where they just come out and say that man made climate change is a giant hoax, but If this works to keep us out of one of these ridiculous ponzi schemes, I guess I can live with it.

        • Hell, it’s not like any other countries could decide to slap a tariff on our exports.  No, a responsible PM, overseeing a fragile economy, would never risk that.

          • This is the same bizarre fear talk we heard from Stefan Dione, and Canadians kicked his butt. This fear of export carbon tariffs is for wimps and sycophants, not Canadians. I say bring the tariffs. 

          • Dam right – we can’t let those people who buy from us boss us around.  Stop the exports!!!

        • Y’know, if this government wants to oppose international climate change agreements, that’s fine. But if the government doesn’t believe in AGW it should stand on those principles. Stop talking one way, and nudge- nudge, wink-winking behind the scenes. Act like leaders and not a bunch of slinking, gutless saboteurs. Just be friggin’ honest. Maybe I’m naive in thinking that governments should be honest, but hey, that’s just me.

          • “But if the government doesn’t believe in AGW it should stand on those principles. Stop talking one way, and nudge- nudge, wink-winking behind the scenes. ”

            These people are politicians, why would you expect anything else? This is what politicians do.

        • I’ll put it another way. I think this is important.

          You don’t believe in AGW. I do. That’s fine, we’re not going to change each other’s minds on that today. One of us is gonna be proven to be wrong somewhere down the line. But this is not my main concern, so let’s set that aside.

          If I take the government’s statements on this at face value, I’m liking what I’m hearing. I don’t have a problem with Canada withdrawing from a treaty that has failed. The major emitters have been left out, and they need to be included. Let’s start fresh with a new agreement that has everybody on board with hard but realistic targets and a plan to meet those targets. I really don’t have a problem with the government’s position — if I can take it at face value. Funnily enough, I always assumed the Conservatives were full of BS on this file, and it has only been recently that I’ve ‘come around’ and actually put some faith in what they’re saying.

          But in listening to you and conservative supporters, it gives me pause. Does this government believe that AGW is a hoax? If they do, that’s fine, that’s their prerogative — as it anyone who believes that AGW is a hoax. But if they do, they need to come clean. I need to know who I should support, as do others who feel as I do on this issue. I need the Conservative Party to be honest on this. Further, if the Conservative Party feels the ‘jury is still out’ on AGW (rather than subscribing in the notion that it’s a bunch of BS), they have to come clean on that too.

          • Thanks for the only sane, rational comment on the board today. 

          • It’s hard to say what they believe. While we disagree on the man-madeness of climate change, I actually agree with you on your main point; I’d prefer they just come out and say “You know what? There are huge problems with the science that is supposed to be ‘settled’ and more being identified every day, not to mention huge problems with the credibility of the IPCC and the behaviour of climate scientists identified in the ClimateGate emails, and we’re not going to destroy the Canadian economy by participating in a wealth transfer ponzi scheme on the basis of questionable science” (or flowery words to that effect…I doubt they’d draft me as a speechwriter). Like I said, I’d prefer the Czech approach. As far as I know Vaclav Havel is the only world leader to do just that.

            I think they feel that doing so is politically not feasible, and that the political optics are better to pretend to play along, spout platitudes about the holy grail solution that they know will never be achieved, and just wait out the inevitable failure of the climate movement than to take a bold, principled stance like Havel. At this point, I’m forced to hoping that’s what they are doing.

          • Except you’re wrong on every assertion.

          • Sad, though, that we’re both left crossing our fingers and wondering what the government has planned — me hoping they mean what they say, and you hoping they don’t.

            And if they’re taking the politically safe route, that’s not a good excuse in my book. At the end of the day, either you and the people who think as you do are being duped, or I am and the people who think like me are being duped. Not cool.

          • Agreed GBS. It’s a sad state of affairs, but perhaps inevitable, as climate change has moved beyond the realm of science and now has more in common with religion, and once that happens any pretense of a rational approach to it goes out the window.

          • “But in listening to you and conservative supporters, it gives me pause. Does this government believe that AGW is a hoax?”

            It does if it will win them popular support. If beleif in AGW will win the government  popular support, then it beleives in AGW. This is politics.

        • Indeed, it seems the anti-activists have managed to hold up any significant action for long enough that it’s become pointless anyway, and action about reducing carbon emissions needs to be replaced with action about what the hell we’re going to do when our food supplies start getting ravaged by diseases and insects, and how to defend ourselves when the bulk of the third-world becomes uninhabitable and so the eco-refugees attempt to flee here.

          • OMG,
            surely you don’t actually believe in that apocalyptic talk, not really. Why are
            lefty’s so pessimistic about their future? How do you people get through each
            day believing that death and horror are just around the corner?


            Oy Vey what a depressing bunch.


          • Why? Because I understand science. I understand the basic physics of CO2 and heat capture. I understand how micro-organisms and pests are temperature sensitive, and how our nearly mono-culture farming industry is vulnerable to the right kinds of pests and molds — pests which most farmers have no awareness of or means to deal with.

            Why? Because I read the news. I read how Russian observers have found natural methane being released in the arctic ocean, and am aware of the vast quantities of methane in arctic which remain frozen.

            It’s not a belief that death is around the corner. We’ve probably got one more generation before the effects start to really get serious.  But if we’re not prepared for it by then, it’s going to be extremely serious.

            What I wonder is how people manage to survive day-to-day when they prefer to live in a complete state of ignorance and/or denial.  I expect it’s something to do with society ensuring that Darwinian theory doesn’t apply to most people.

          • “What I wonder is how people manage to survive day-to-day when they prefer to live in a complete state of ignorance and/or denial. ”

            Its great being a climate denier, we have no worries about the future. You should switch over to the denier side, it’s way better here. We aren’t all depressed and worried about temperature sensitive bugs or mono-cultured blueberries. We have faith in science to find a solution to issues such as these, we’re not worried one bit.

            We don’t care about ocean rise or hurricanes or glacial melting or sinking polar bears. They are merely evidence that the climate changes, they are not evidence that CO2 is the cause.

            Its great being a denier. Alarmism is so 2009.

            Its time you switched.

          • If you want to convince people to cross over to the dumb side you really need to work on your presentation – this one really sucks.

          • I’m not interested in convincing members of the Church of Climastrology such as yourself.  You’re already there! Lol!


      • Um, I agree with d. above, it’s ‘carbo-phobic nonsense’.


  3. Strictly speaking, Darrent, it barely reaches the level of bad science.

    It’s bad stats.

  4. Strictly speaking, Darrent, it barely reaches the level of bad science.

    It’s bad stats.

  5. Oh what ever…doesn’t matter what any critic, environmentalist or journo says or puts to print!!!!!

    Kyoto is dead
    and the Liberals and Dippers can campaign on signing back up and paying $7-14 Billion in carbon credits to 3rd world Dictators….. if they really believe what they are yapping about now.

    Liberals have had majority governments and majority coalitions in government since the b.s. document was signed, from 1997-2011

    And the LibDippers did nothing when they could have.

    • Kyoto isn’t dead, in fact it’s been extended by 5 years….. we’ve just been left behind.

      • Also left behind, USA, China, India………

        When signed, Kyoto represented 30% of global ghg’s,
        before Durban it represented only 17%  (and that was before Russia and Japan refused to extend Kyoto) of global ghg’s;
        that’s because while Canada’s rose from 1.8% to 2.2% China’s ghg’s rose nearly 300%.

        Kyoto is meaningless, therefore dead.


        • No, they like the new idea

          Keep up

          • Emily, the Kyoto Accord is over.  The new idea is not Kyoto, so with respect, you keep up.

          • Kyoto was extended by 5 years….pay attention.

          • From Macleans “The 194 countries at the global climate talk in Durban, South Africa agreed on Sunday to negotiate a new global climate treaty by 2015. The post-Kyoto arrangement, though, would not take effect until 2020.”

            Post Kyoto means Kyoto is dead, not extended. You pay attention.

    • Wilsons “facts”are as always debatable…

      Meanwhile SH and the CPC/reform/ /alliance/ and AB based oil business crowd all sat quietly by while the libs did nothing. The buck stopped with the Libs for sure.

       Wilson’s just upset they didn’t try to use their majorities to force it down the west’s throats…cuz that’s what SH would have done in their place.  

      • Wilsons “facts”are as always debatable…rats, you got me,
        correction: before Durban it represented only 17% – should read 13%,
        ( Kyoto represented 30% now represents 13% of global ghgs)

  6. Never more proud to be a Canadian than today.  Thank you Mr. Harper.

    • And soon, you’ll be embarrassed to be a Canadian…you can thank Harp for that too.

    • And thanks to Minister Kent and team! 
      Canada won Fossil of the Year award ‘every’ year since PMSH won in 2006; and this year too.


      • Alberta…the land where dinosaurs go to die.

        • You misspelled Manitoba.

          Hey wait a minute…doesn’t the NDP run things over there?

          • How did they vote federally?

  7. Ahhhh, the deranged nightmare of a totalitarian world Government created under the pretense of fake science and controlling the weather has almost ended… at least it’s dead for now. Somewhere, lost in the woods perhaps, can be heard the faint cries of Steve (the rocket) Dion… Kyoto?!…Kyoto?! where has that anti-capitalist, wealth distribution scheme of a dog gone to… Kyoto?!… Kyoto?!

    • Geez, I didn’t read anything about any ‘totalitarian world government’  or ‘fake science.’ Seems like the reason they’re not a part of Kyoto anymore is because other emitters aren’t taking part. IN FACT, this government is trying (or at least SAYING they’re trying) to reduce greenhouse gases! If it’s all bullshit, if it’s all just a way to get into your pocket, why are they continuing to entertain the notion that AGW is real? If it’s all junk science and a socialist plot, why, oh why, are they still paying lip service to climate change? Sounds like they’re still livin’ the ‘deranged nightmare’, still pursuing the ‘anti-capitalist wealth re-distribution scheme’ — just coming at it from a different angle.

      I’m not sure why you’re so happy, really.

      • “I’m not sure why you’re so happy, really”

        Cognitive dissonance.

        • Come’on kfc#2… stop projecting.

      • “I’m not sure why you’re so happy, really”… The “Big Lie” has been averted… for now… whats not to be happy about?  I’m not sure why you’re so un-happy, really. 

        • Except, if the government feels the same way you do on this, they’re lying to avoid the ‘Big Lie.’ If the government feels the same way you do, the minister’s statement is about 90 per cent bullshit. You’re cool with that? I’m not. If the government doesn’t believe in man-made climate change, that’s fine… just tell it to me straight.

      • “Geez, I didn’t read anything about any ‘totalitarian world government’ or ‘fake science”

        You didn’t? Where have you been over the last several years, that’s almost all the deniers have been talking about. Sheesh.

      • You realize that they are only saying that they are trying to reduce GHGs.  They’ll do nothing.  They’ll probably cart out that hilarious Bush-era lie by reducing our acceleration in emissions, claiming that they’re reducing the actual volume of emissions.  Those that failed calculus will applaud.

        (I’m pretty sure you know this, but I like to type)

  8. Isn’t it the left that is always howling and screaming about Canada following an independent foreign policy; about Canada leading the world? Well here we are doing just that, and they’re bitching and complaining more than ever. You just can’t please some people.

    • You can’t please the left at all.

      This is another example of lack of coherence and confusion on the environmental left. Remember, when over fishing was evil so the greens said fish farming was good? Governments gave billions over the years to get fish farms running, now the greens say fish farming is bad. Remember nuclear power was evil, but with climate change nuclear power is now green. On the east coast of Canada, the seal hunt is evil because cutesy seals are brutally slaughtered for money; But in Australia environmentalists want a huge nationwide camel hunt, where camels will be brutally slaughtered for carbon credits (money). They can justify this slaughter because camels are ugly. And wind turbines used to be green, but since they kill birds now they are evil.

      How do environmentalists explain this kind of flip flopping and backtracking? How can they look themselves in the mirror every morning? Thank god I’m not an environmentalist anymore.

  9. The major, and perhaps sole benefit of Kyoto was that it was the only option that had significant support.

    Now it seems there’s more and different discussions going on, and if there’s another treaty being set up that can bring on a significant amount of support from around the world, I’ve got no problems with letting Kyoto go.

    I do have problems if the government is lying to me about it’s intentions to meaningfully participate in those discussions, however.

  10. I am so glad
    that we are out of that lame and unfair Kyoto agreement. Thank you Minister
    Kent and thank you Prime Minister Harper.

    The next
    thing will be to end the Kyoto agreement itself, then end the secretive World
    Bank backed REDD program as quickly as possible, and then watch the corrupt EU
    Carbon Exchange go down in flames like the Chicago Carbon Exchange.

    Then all
    will be well again.

    I can’t

    • I don’t know why that post was all broken up like that.

  11. Aren’t we going to debate this in parliament? As a nation? I just took a quick look at the climate change section of the Conservative platform for the last election and it doesn’t make any mention of quitting the Kyoto agreement.

    Where is your mandate to do this Conservatives? Were you hiding this agenda? Or is this a new idea that should be put before parliament and debated openly by Canadians?

    Are you afraid to defend your ideas in public?

  12. Canada, though, cannot do it alone.

    We produce just a tiny, two per cent of global emissionsYes, But Canadians comprisse only .48% of the total population! Show some initiative!

  13. The nonsense about Kyoto not including USA and China is a red herring; it does not change Canada’s moral obligations under the treaty.  The USA did not ratify, and China is in compliance (no targets).  Clearly, the Harper Government is the only party which is acting in bad faith.
    To put it in another light, violence against women is rampant in many places.  Incidents of violence against women in Canada is only a small percentage of the global total of incidents. Does this mean that Canada should pull out of any current agreements on reducing violence against women until we reach a legally binding agreement that includes all the countries where violence against women is most prevalent?

  14. Many European nations are going to meet their targets despite going through some very tough economic times.  Personally, I think that if the Harper Government is going to be smug about how well the Canadian economy is doing relative to Europe, then it can afford to pay penalties to compensate the signatories who honoured their obligations.
    It always impresses me how the Dutch have remembered Canada for its part in Liberation Day… May 5, 1945.  They have passed this on to their children who still tend the graves three generations later.  The Dutch never say, “That was in the past.  It is not the way forward.”  How will they think of Canada now?  About half of the Netherlands is less than one metre above sea level…

    • “Many European nations are going to meet their targets despite going through some very tough economic times. ”

      Many European nations are going to meet theri targets BECAUSE of very tough economic times. The slower the economy, the less energy it consumes and the lower the emissions. What is truly revealing is the over supply of carbon credits on the EU carbon exchange, they can’t get $7 a ton right now and its still falling. Hopefully in a few months the market will collapse like the Chicago Carbon Exchange last year. 

      Oh my it is great to be a climate denier in the 21st century. Oh my…

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