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Old 12-13-2011, 12:44 AM   #7
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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"The right-of-center Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which has close ties to the energy sector, says Canada would be subject to penalties equivalent to C$14 billion ($13.6 billion) under the terms of the treaty for not cutting emissions by the required amount by 2012.

"It's a national disgrace. Prime Minister Harper just spat in the faces of people around the world for whom climate change is increasingly a life and death issue," said Graham Saul of Climate Action Network Canada.

The Conservatives took power in 2006 and quickly made clear they would not stick to Canada's Kyoto commitments on the grounds it would cripple the economy and the energy sector.

"Our government is abdicating its international responsibilities. It's like where the kid in school who knows he's going to fail the class, so he drops it before that happens," said Megan Leslie of the opposition New Democrats.

Canada is the largest supplier of oil and natural gas to the United States and is keen to boost output of crude from Alberta's oil sands, which requires large amounts of energy to extract.

Canada's former Liberal government signed up to Kyoto, which dictated a cut in emissions to 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. By 2009 emissions were 17 percent above the 1990 levels, in part because of the expanding tar sands development.

The announcement will do little to help Canada's international reputation. Green groups awarded the country their Fossil of the Year award for its performance in Durban.

It is understood he [Harper] is reluctant to damage Canada's booming oil sands sector. "
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