Conservative Canadian politico vows to back out of Kyoto agreement

As Canada’s federal election looms — yes, Canada is having an election — Conservative leader Stephen Harper is campaigning on virtually abandoning the Kyoto accord on climate change. Harper, who proclaimed in 2004 that the treaty would never become international law (oops), says victorious Conservatives would jettison mandatory targets and timelines for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in favor of voluntary ones. The Canadian Climate Coalition accuses Harper of putting Canada “into the same camp as U.S. President George W. Bush.” Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin is using the issue to hit back at Harper, exhorting Canadians to vote their values — and most Canadians say they support Kyoto. The election, for those of you who haven’t been following closely (ahem), is Jan. 23.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.