|Peter Kent, Minister of Environment. (Andre Forget /QMI AGENCY)
OTTAWA - The feds are expecting a rough ride when they sit down at the latest round of international climate change negotiations.
Ottawa is refusing to sign on to a second round of the Kyoto Protocol, putting it at odds with European and Asian negotiators who will try to flesh out a new climate change deal in late November.
"It's an approach that's likely to cause some turbulence for us in the coming weeks," Environment Minister Peter Kent conceded Tuesday in a speech in Toronto, referring to the upcoming COP 17 conference in Durban, South Africa.
"Other countries are entitled to base their decisions and actions on what they believe to be best for their circumstances. But we are confident in our plan and will not be swayed - however stormy the weather at the upcoming COP becomes."
The first round of the current climate agreement, the Kyoto Protocol, expires in 2012.
But Canada, along with Russia and Japan, is crying foul over Kyoto because developing countries - even top polluters like China - aren't bound by its greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The European Union and a host of other countries, like Brazil, China and India, are pushing to keep Kyoto going.
Meanwhile, Kent said Canada is on track to meet its more modest reduction targets of dropping emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020.
Those goals are in line with U.S. targets and were set out in the non-binding Copenhagen Accords in 2009.
Kent refused to comment on Australia's new carbon tax scheme, passed by that country's parliament Tuesday, saying only that Canada won't be following suit.
"Our government has made clear over the past couple of elections that we will not impose a carbon tax in Canada," he said.
The Conservatives floated the idea of implementing a North American cap-and-trade system in 2008, but canned it soon after.
Kent also announced $150 million in new funds over five years for federal climate change programs.