Canada's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol underscores how delicate the climate question is. The country faults the treaty for failing to provide binding constraints over other major emitters such as China, the United States of America and India. China, on the other hand, holds that developing countries ought to be exempted from the Kyoto obligations but be helped by industrialised countries to cope with the impact of climate change. The United States of America has never ratified the accord.
The Kyoto Protocol see-saw doubtlessly has serious socio-political and economic implications. There is need for sober thinking that will strike a balance between carbon emission and development without compromising either. It is also worth noting that international cooperation becomes tumultuous when a section of signatories assume immunity from the demands of respective pacts.
Canada has demonstrated the great length it can go to to protect its interests. Does Africa have a continental interest? Can Africa say No! to the exploitative trade regime that condemns it to exporting raw materials and importing finished products? Can Africa say No! to the trade order that pits African citizenry against each other while its subsurface wealth is shipped away at a throw-away price?
As the titans battle it out, the continent must figure out how to wriggle out of the climate change impasse without compromising the safety of the citizenry. However, when all is said and done, together, we shall save our planet or together, we shall perish in it.
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