Associated Press

TORONTO – Canada's environment minister says the country is pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

Peter Kent said Monday that Canada is invoking the legal right to withdraw.

Canada, joined by Japan and Russia, said last year it will not accept new Kyoto commitments, but renouncing the accord is another setback to the treaty concluded with much fanfare in 1997. No nation has formally renounced the protocol.

The protocol, initially adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, is aimed at fighting global warming. Canada's previous Liberal government signed the accord but Prime Minister Stephen Harper Conservative government never embraced it.

Harper's Conservative government is reluctant to hurt Canada's booming oil sands sector.