Canada officially becomes first country to withdraw from Kyoto agreement

Environment Minister Peter Kent



OTTAWA - Canada has officially withdrawn from the Kyoto climate agreement.

The death notice comes years after the Stephen Harper government made clear it rejected the terms that were negotiated by the Jean Chretien government in 1997.

According to the agreement, Canada would reduce its greenhouse gases 6% below 1990 levels by 2012.

Environment Minister Peter Kent pointed to the fact the United States and China - the two largest carbon emitters - never signed on as reason to abandon the agreement. And one year ago Canada officially announced its repudiation of it, becoming the first country in the world to do so.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May - an environmentalist and fiscal conservative - called it a "day of shame".

"Harper's Conservatives present us with a fake contradiction between environmental protection and a healthy economy," May said in a statement.

Tory MP Rob Anders called Kyoto a "tremendous waste of resources."

"The fact we were the first country to pull out gives us credibility; we were the first to say, 'the emperor wears no clothes,'" Anders said Friday.

Liberal MP Stephane Dion, a main player in Canada becoming a signatory, called it a sad day.

"Of course Kyoto was not enough. But even though, it was the beginning of something more compelling for the next phase."

Dion was so in support of the agreement he named his dog Kyoto.

"I'm sad to say the dog is in better shape than the agreement it was named after."

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