An activist wears a mask depicting the face of Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, during a protest in Durban on the sidelines of the UN climate talks. Photo credit: ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images

The future of the Kyoto Protocol looks bleak after Canada chose postpone its environmental commitments for the foreseeable future. Today, Environment Minister Peter Kent confirmed at the United Nations climate change summit in Durban, South Africa, that Canada would no longer try to meet the goals of Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that legally requires all participating countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

While Canada’s decision enraged many environmental groups – Greenpeace called it “climate fail on Parliament Hill” – the government has always maintained the penalties in the Protocol would stifle the manufacturing industry. Government environment officials have called for a new pact that includes buy-in from the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters: The U.S. and China.

-Peter Muggeridge

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