Canadian Minister: We need an effective, binding climate deal

By RTCC Staff

Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent said foreign oil interests may be behind the tar sands opposition. (Source: Env. Canada)

The Kyoto protocol is clinging to life and should be replaced by an effective, binding deal to cut emissions globally, according to Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent.

In a wide ranging interview with the Huffington Post, Kent defended the country’s record over tar sands and its decision to pull out of the UN’s Kyoto protocol, designed to lower the emissions of industrialised countries.

“I think that Kyoto was a good idea in its time, but it’s almost irrelevant now. Kyoto was an aspirational protocol which didn’t engage, even in its original form, most of the world’s greenhouse gas emitters,” said Kent.

He said that Kyoto should have died at the UN climate talks in Durban adding: “it doesn’t matter that it didn’t, because we’ve moved on now, we’re into post-Kyoto.”

Kent was dismissive when asked if it was hypocritical of Canada to cite China’s emissions output as a reason for leaving Kyoto, while simultaneously selling it oil.

“They are going to continue to develop their industrial base whether we sell them the product or not,” he said.

Hidden agendas

Canada has been in the spotlight recently not just for its withdrawal from Kyoto but also for its development of tar sands oil.

The KeystoneXL pipeline to distribute Canadian oil through the US continues to be debated in the States and the EU is currently looking to pass a law that would reclassify tar sands oil as “dirtier” than regular oil. The European regulatory system would make it difficult for tar sands oil to be marketable on the continent.

Kent suggested that the environmental lobbying against tar sands could have more to do with overseas oil interests that green concerns.

“There are some groups which would, as the Prime Minister said, reduce Canada to one great national park, with no resource development of any sort.

“There are some who may have hidden agendas and some of the offshore, foreign funding, and we do have a concern about money coming from abroad that could represent rival resource interests disguised as environmental concern,” suggested Kent.

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