Thursday, December 8, 2011

Canada is a Pariah at COP 17

Canada is being heavily criticized at the UN climate summit in Durban for failing to work on global climate change issues. With next to no delegation at the summit, Canada is rightly being accused of not being serious about efforts to manage climate change.

Archbishop Tutu and other prominent Africans signed a petition against Canada, published as an ad in ECO, a daily newsletter at the conference, urging Canada to take action on climate change. "Now is the time for Canada to tackle climate change, which will impact millions of people, instead of supporting multinational oil companies," the ad said.

"Canada, you were once considered a leader on global issues like human rights and environmental protection. Today you’re home to polluting tar sands oil, speeding the dangerous effects of climate change. For us in Africa, climate change is a life and death issue," it said.

China's official Xinhua news agency said Canada is "setting a bad example" to other developed countries, following reports that Ottawa is planning to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol. If Canada withdraws from the Kyoto Protocol "it will further hurt the international community's endeavor to cope with climate change" and "will definitely add to the obstacles in our negotiation," said the Xinhua report.

South Africa's Eyewitness News said Canada has "moved from hero in defending human rights to zero on environmental protection."

Canada also has the dubious distinction of being awarded the "Fossil of the Day." The award is given by the group Climate Action Network to countries said to be blocking progress on negotiations.

On an index released Tuesday by a German nonprofit group Canada ranked a dismal 54th, two spots below the US, for failing to do enough to prevent climate change.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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