The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, has said that Rwanda considers Canada’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol as a regrettable move which will negatively impact the fight against climate change.
He said the decision was derived from internal issues within the North American nation.
“It’s a pity that one of the highest emitters has decided to withdraw from the Protocol. Canada’s withdrawal will not only affect Africa but the world at large,” said the Minister.
The Canadian Minister of Environment, Peter Kent, Monday said his country was invoking its legal right to withdraw because the treaty did not represent the way forward for Canada or the world. Kent’s announcement comes a day after marathon climate talks wrapped up in the South African.
The Protocol, initially adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, aims to halt global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Other countries may withdraw from the Protocol but Rwanda’s stand currently is creating a synergetic way of dealing with climate change problem,” said Kamanzi.
The Director General of Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA), Rose Mukankomeje, refused to comment on the issue, although she suggested that “Canada’s pullout was political.”
The Kyoto Protocol is expected to expire by the end of next year; so far, negotiators from nearly 200 countries agreed on a deal that sets the world on a path to sign a new climate treaty by 2015.
According to Kent, the move saves Canada $14 billion in penalties for not achieving its Kyoto targets.
“To meet the targets under Kyoto for 2012 would be the equivalent of either removing every car, truck, tractor, ambulance, police car and vehicle of every kind from Canadian roads or closing down the entire farming and agriculture sector and cutting heat to every home, office, hospital, factory and building in Canada,” Kent told journalists as he announced the withdrawal.
The Kyoto Protocol requires countries to give a year’s notice before withdrawing.