- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
It’s not a great day for Canada when it’s being lectured by China for its environmental policies:
"It is regrettable and flies in the face of the efforts of the international community for Canada to leave the Kyoto Protocol at a time when the Durban meeting, as everyone knows, made important progress by securing a second phase of commitment to the Protocol," China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a news briefing.
"We also hope that Canada will face up to its due responsibilities and duties, and continue abiding by its commitments, and take a positive, constructive attitude towards participating in international cooperation to respond to climate change."
China’s state news agency, Xinhua, denounced Canada’s decision as "preposterous", calling it "an excuse to shirk responsibility". It urged Canada to retract its decision so it could help reduce global emissions.
China, the world’s largest greenhouse emitter, won an extension of the protocol until 2017 at the conference. To be fair, since it’s still designated, for the purposes of Kyoto, as a developing country, China — as well as India, which also criticized Canada today — doesn’t face the binding, quantitative emissions cuts that countries like Canada do under the protocol.
With Canada having paved the way, can it be long before other Kyoto discontents such as Russia and Japan follow its lead?