Canada will formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, the minister of the environment has said.
Peter Kent said the protocol 'does not represent a way forward for Canada' and the country would face crippling fines for failing to meet its targets.
The move, which is legal and was expected, makes it the first nation to pull out of the global treaty.
Canada declared four years ago that it did not intend to meet its existing Kyoto Protocol commitments and its annual emissions have risen by about a third since 1990.
The protocol, initially adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, is aimed at fighting global warming.
'Kyoto, for Canada, is in the past, and as such we are invoking our legal right to withdraw from Kyoto,' Mr Kent said in Toronto.
He said he would be formally advising the United Nations of his country's intention to pull out.
Beijing criticised Canada's decision. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said it went 'against the efforts of the international community and is regrettable'.
Mr Kent's announcement came just hours after a last-minute deal on climate change was agreed in Durban.
Talks on a new legal deal covering all countries will begin next year and end by 2015, coming into effect by 2020, the UN climate conference decided.