Canada’s House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol yesterday, concluding months of rancorous debate and paving the way for a concerted international effort to curb emissions of climate-altering greenhouse gases. A triumphant Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who staked a fair bit of political capital on Kyoto, will sign Canada’s official ratification by the end of the year. Though it had no legal impact, the House of Commons vote was an important symbolic gesture of support for the treaty in a country where Alberta provincial leaders and segments of the business community have vociferously opposed limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Also yesterday, on the other side of the globe, New Zealand ratified the protocol.
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