Home Up Services Contacts Commentary Letters Fora Input Publications GHG Emissions Guests What's New Contents


30 Fairmont Park Lane S
Lethbridge, AB T1K 7H7
Phone: (403) 328-1804
Monday, December 12, 2011
The Editor
The Lethbridge Herald
P.O. Box 670
Lethbridge, AB, T1J 3Z7 

Re: Kyoto Withdrawal 

Dear Editor, 

My computer voted “yes” to the Herald poll; “Do you think Canada should withdraw from the Kyoto accord?”. In fact, most readers voted in favor. 

I’m not so sure that’s a good idea at this time though. Five or more years ago, as explained by my letters published in the Herald, it would have been timely. The Kyoto emission reduction commitment period start date was the beginning of 2008. It will be over at the end of 2012. A formal withdrawal now would only become effective in a year making us theoretically liable for the entire Kyoto commitment plus penalties.  

We could have “manned up” to the world prior to the commitment period and admitted our mistake in ratifying such an onerous commitment to emission reductions. Our government knew we could not possibly achieve it short of severe economic collapse. Perhaps early withdrawal would have been a good example to other countries in that they might have reconsidered their commitment too, before fostering unfulfilled expectations at great expense. 

Now that the meeting in Durban is over, it is still not completely clear what Canada’s status is. As of this writing, it seems Canada does not plan to withdraw from Kyoto but has declined to sign up for another 5 year period as have some countries. Everyone is mum on the billion or so tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions Canada pledged to eliminate under Kyoto.  Will that so-called “legally binding” commitment” ever be enforced?  

Perhaps Canada’s stance at the annual meetings has finally borne some fruit though. China, India and the United States have finally agreed to take on some responsibilities circa 2020 should there still be a convincing case carbon dioxide is contributing significantly to global warming. The United Nation’s IPCC has another review of global warming underway to be completed in 2014. Will it be credible enough to incite serious action? Time will tell. 

Yours truly,


Duane Pendergast


    Home Up Services Contacts Commentary Letters Fora Input Publications GHG Emissions Guests What's New Contents