Canada ranked last in G8 on climate action

Canada has fallen to last place in the latest G8 Climate Scorecard, after the United States moved up in the annual rankings based on recent climate initiatives announced by the Obama administration. The report cites Canada as one of the few G8 nations whose emissions are still increasing, due in large part to the commitment to expanding exploitation of the tar sands.

The report states the lack of a clear leader among the ranked nations and while Germany has slightly improved, countries such as Canada and Russia have completely failed the test.

Nowhere else on Earth do fewer people steward more resources, yet Canada now stands dead last amongst the G8 Nations in protecting our shared home from the threat of dangerous climate change, said Keith Stewart, Director of WWF-Canada’s Climate Change Campaign. Canada’s future lies in creating green jobs on a living planet, not in becoming the energy sweatshop for the world.

The report, carried out by Ecofys for the conservation organization WWF and the global insurance firm Allianz SE, ranks the top eight industrialized countries and five major developing countries according to their climate change policy.

Only five months ahead of crucial global climate negotiations in Copenhagen, the 2009 edition of the annual WWF-Allianz G8 Climate Scorecards shows that while some efforts had been made by countries, action remains insufficient to set the world on a low carbon economy course.

In the foreword of the report, James Leape, Director General of WWF International and Allianz board member Joachim Faber urged the nations to take action now and help seal a good deal in Copenhagen.

While there might be a bailout possibility for the financial system, no amounts of money will save the planet once climate change crosses the danger threshold, Mr. Leape and Mr. Faber wrote. It is therefore crucial to limit the rise of global temperature to below two degrees compared to pre-industrial levels.

The G8 Climate Scorecards 2009 measure countries performance and trends in areas such as development of greenhouse gas emissions since 1990, the distance to their Kyoto-targets, their share of renewable energies and the efficiency of their climate policies. The evaluation is based on their progress and improvement made since 1990, the current status of emissions, and the intended policies for the future.

According to the report, Germany, the United Kingdom and France have already achieved their Kyoto targets – but their long-term climate performance is not adequate to limit the global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius.

Climate initiatives so far planned or announced by the Obama-administration have helped the USA climb from the last rank to seventh place.

Canada and Russia, which are also at the bottom of the rank, either do not have political plans to change this development or have not implemented them.

Joachim Faber, board member of Allianz SE says: A low carbon future holds growth potential for G8 countries as well as for emerging nations. Future investments and product development therefore require a sustainable political framework.



The full report, an executive summary and a flash application are available at:


~ by Cory Morningstar on July 7, 2009.

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