Canada criticized over Kyoto cop-out

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BANFF, Alta. — European leaders are condemning Canada for forging ahead with a bid to exchange clean energy credits for Kyoto responsibilities.

However, the criticism hasn’t deterred Canada’s Environmen Minister, David Anderson, from proceeding with the movement. Yesterday, Anderson said Canada will submit a proposal on clean credits next month at a United Nations meeting in Whistler, B.C.

The proposal involves giving Canada a break in how much greenhouse gas the country must reduce under the Kyoto protocol, in exchange for using cleaner natural gas and electricity, which it is exporting to the U.S.

“There’s no question that this issue becomes more critical for Canada because of the United States withdrawal from the Kyoto process,” says Anderson. “And it is something we believe should be looked at on its merits and not on the basis of political position.”

European leaders are afraid Canada is using the clean-fuel credit plan as a means by which to avoid ratifying Kyoto.

“We’ve been in these negotiations for so long now, we’ve been fighting night after night about all the details in the text of the Kyoto protocol,” says Margot Wallstrom, European Union environment commissioner. “It would be really sad if Canada wouldn’t ratify in the end.”

Prime Minister Jean Chretien, has said Canada will ratify Kyoto, but industry leaders insist doing so will cost the country thousands of jobs and billions of dollars, unless a compromise is reached.

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