Canada is moving away from its historical positions on climate
change at the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
currently being held in Durban, South Africa. Canada, which signed
on to the original Kyoto protocol in 1997, has stated that it will not commit to any further
emission reduction targets after the expiry of the first commitment
period in 2012. The Kyoto protocol sets legally binding emissions
cuts for most major economies but exempts developing nations,
including China, India and Brazil, from such cuts. Japan and Russia
have also indicated that they do not intend to commit to any
further targets under the Kyoto protocol. The European Union,
Australia and New Zealand continue to support the Kyoto protocol.
Canada instead has chosen to endorse the 2009 Copenhagen accord,
which would require commitments from all major emitting countries,
not just developed nations. Although many countries have released
targets, the Copenhagen accord has yet to become a binding treaty.
Canada has also raised concerns over the planned $100-billion per
year climate fund. The climate fund, which was agreed upon during
last year's climate change negotiations in Cancun, Mexico,
is meant to help developing countries adapt to climate change, but
the design of the fund has yet to be agreed upon. Canada's
positions are in line with those of the United States, which has
refused to sign on to any binding emissions reductions that do not
require the major emerging countries such as China, India and
Brazil, to be required to reduce emissions.
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