Canada’s decision to quit Kyoto pact upsets China

China is calling Canada’s decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol regrettable and says it goes against the efforts of the international community. Canada’s move comes days after climate-change negotiators met to hammer-out a global deal in Durban, South Africa.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin expressed China’s dismay at the news that Canada had pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol.

He says the timing is particularly bad, because negotiators at the just-concluded Durban conference made what he described as important progress on the issue of the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period.

Liu says Canada’s move goes against the efforts of the international community and is regrettable. He says Beijing hopes Canada will face up to its obligations, honor its commitments and actively participate in international efforts to fight climate change.

Canada Monday announced that it is pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty hammered out in 1997 that calls for major industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The United States never ratified the Kyoto Protocol. The accord recognizes China as a developing country and so does not impose mandated emissions reduction targets on Beijing.

China and the United States are the world’s two biggest emitters of carbon gases that many scientists say exacerbate global warming.

Liu indicated that Ottawa’s decision will not affect Beijing’s actions.

Costa Rican Christiana Figueres also said that the Canadian move was surprising and regrettable. She is the executive secretary of U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“Whether or not Canada is a party to the Kyoto Protocol, it has a legal obligation under the convention to reduce its emissions, and a moral obligation to itself and future generations to lead in the global effort,” she said. “Industrialized countries, whose emissions have risen significantly since 1990, as is the case for Canada, remain in a weaker position to call on developing countries to limit their emissions.”

Canada stands to be a beneficiary of global warming because of a milder climate for agriculture.

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