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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Canada withdrawal foretells chaotic future

By Gao Lei  (Global Times)

10:06, December 14, 2011

Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent declared on Monday that his country will formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. This decision has drawn criticism and is perceived as a step backward from the achievements of the Durban climate conference.

Canada is one of the richest countries in the world. Its natural resources per capita are also among the highest. Yet it has failed to honor its committed emissions target. Staying in the Protocol would force the country to pay a $14 billion fine which drove it to quit.

Western countries have not enjoyed good reputations in curbing their emissions. Despite their lofty slogan of saving the earth, Western countries prioritize their own interests much more than cooperation. The US, for instance, is still outside the Protocol. The climate change campaign was initiated by those developed countries, but it seems that they are quite at ease with the contradiction between their big words and their selfish actions.

Can international relationships become more civilized? Can humankind put aside individual interests for the larger good of the world? The outcome of the climate change campaign will provide answers to these questions. Canada's decision has warned us not to get too optimistic, as it has revealed the bitter truth that morality is still powerless to overcome selfishness in policymaking.

The Kyoto Protocol was agreed in 1997, a time when the West was at its golden age. The world the Protocol aimed to protect was not only a "common home" but also one dominated by the West. However, the rapid rise of emerging countries over the following decade brought about deep changes.

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Anthony at 2011-12-1599.251.111.*
It was à shock to move from California to Canada. The gas guzzlers were the same with Canadian motorists paying so much more for fuel that Americans...they just don"t care!
  

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