• Canada, a major energy producer, has become the first country to quit the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, saying the 1997 accord was an "impediment" on cutting global carbon emissions with top emitters like the US and China not covered by it. 

  • The Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997 by the previous Liberal government, which committed Canada to cutting greenhouse gas emissions 6% below 1990 levels by 2012.

  • The announcement came after the end of the latest round of talks involving the 195 parties to the UNFCCC in Durban, South Africa.

  • U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had just finished saying that a "significant agreement" had been reached, which has been dubbed "The Durban Platform," when Canada pulled the plug.

  • The new deal, agreed Sunday, brings in major emitters of greenhouse gas emissions including the United States, China, India and Brazil.

  • The parties agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol, which was due to expire at the end of 2012, and to discuss a legally binding pact to cover all major emitters by 2015, with any agreed deal to start in 2020