The Kyoto protocol is the only international pact aimed at fighting global warming; adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, it is signed and ratified by 191 states, the only major country not to sign it being (drum rolls)… the United States! Other states yet to ratify the Kyoto protocol include Afghanistan, Andorra and South Sudan.

Canada's greenhouse gas emissions increase in 2008, compared to 1990; green area is an increase under 10%, while the darkest brown is over 50%

For Canada, the situation is pretty special and saddening at the same time; the Kyoto pact obliged them to cut emissions by 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, when in 2009 they had increased their emissions by 17 percent (and the number keeps growing), mostly due to the huge oil fields in Alberta. Now, Canada announced they will formally give up their treaty, after Environment Minister Peter Ken declared it was a mistake to sign it in the first place.

For the UN and their attempts to reduce greenhouse emissions this is a major hit, and a huge step backwards. Canada was supposed to be one of the leading countries in terms of environmental care, but instead, both them and the US seem to care less and less about greenhouse emissions, making a global accord impossible.

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