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Canada's withdrawal from Kyoto Protocol regrettable: UN official

(Xinhua)

09:36, December 14, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Canada's decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol is surprising and regrettable, the United Nations climate change chief Christiana Figueres said on Tuesday, calling on developed countries to meet the commitments they recently made at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.

"I regret that Canada has announced it will withdraw and am surprised over its timing," said Figueres, the executive secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

"Whether or not Canada is a Party to the Kyoto Protocol, it has a legal obligation under the Convention to reduce its emissions, and a moral obligation to itself and future generations to lead in the global effort," she said. "Industrialized countries, whose emissions have risen significantly since 1990, as is the case for Canada, remain in a weaker position to call on developing countries to limit their emissions."

Canada became the first country to formally pull out of the Kyoto Protocol in an action that has provoked harsh criticism from around the world, reports said.

In his withdrawal announcement, Peter Kent, Canadian environment minister, said the move will save Canada an estimated 14 billion Canadian dollars in penalties incurred from failing to meet targets set by Kyoto.

Given the current economic situation, Canada has no other choice, he added.

Canada and the United States, which did not sign the Kyoto pact, have criticized the accord for leaving out some of the world's largest emitters.

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