Inuit Deeply Concerned about Canada's Decision to Withdraw from Kyoto

15 December, 2011 – Ottawa, Canada  – Inuit are Deeply Concerned About Canada’s Decision to withdraw from Kyoto.

ICC Canada’s President, Duane Smith, said, “The news that Canada has withdrawn from Kyoto comes as a great disappointment to Inuit in Canada and the circumpolar world. In the past, Canada was seen as a global leader on many environmental issues. Canada’s lack of commitment to addressing climate change endangers not only Inuit lives and livelihoods, but also the health and economic welfare of Canadians and the global community.”

“The Kyoto Protocol is the only legally binding process to address global climate change” stated Aqqaluk Lynge, ICC Chair. Lynge believes that Canada’s withdrawal from Kyoto has created a serious impediment to the development of a global agreement to stop dangerous climate change.  “The Arctic is facing dramatic impacts due to a changing climate, which is a matter that requires immediate action from global leaders.  Canada’s actions amount to a huge step backwards in achieving a global emissions reduction agreement.”

Inuit and scientists have noted an unprecedented loss of the Arctic sea ice, with 2011 seeing the second lowest levels since satellite records became available. Inuit across Canada are seeing their wildlife impacted by a changing Arctic climate, their homes and municipal infrastructure damaged by melting permafrost, the invasion of new species, and increasing extreme weather events.  As Smith explained; “Inuit are concerned not only for their way of life, which depends on ice and snow, but for all Canadians.”  He continued: “Climate change impacts, including increasing cost to health care from climate induced air quality issues, the loss of timber for the forest sector, droughts and extreme weather events that impact farmers, acidification of our oceans, sea level rise, and flooding events, touch people’s lives in all parts of Canada and around the world.” Canada’s decision to withdraw from Kyoto has wide implications and amounts to a deferral of action and expense onto the next generation.

ICC seeks assurance from the Government that it remains committed to addressing the impacts of climate change in the Arctic, and to preventing further changes from occurring.  ICC further calls on the Government to address Inuit concerns regarding Canada’s withdrawal from Kyoto and to discuss how Canada intends to ensure that climate induced impacts will not negatively impact the arctic, Inuit, all Canadians and the global community.

For more information, contact:

Carole Simon (ICC Canada)

Leanna Ellsworth (ICC Canada)