WWF Lumps Canada with U.S. as Worst CO2 Performers of G8 Nations
The United States and Canada come in last under World Wildlife Fund's Climate Scorecards, which rate each of the G8 countries' performance on climate change. The United States' bottom ranking underscores a disconnect between President Bush's announcement last week and ongoing U.S. attempts to block progress at G8 negotiations aimed at stopping dangerous climate change, says WWF.
WWF's Climate Scorecards give a comparable snapshot of climate policies in G8 countries, covering recent and expected emissions and key response activities by G8 governments. The three top performers are Germany, France, and the UK, though each is likely to see increases in emissions if more aggressive policies and measures are not implemented soon. New up-to-date information is also provided on the climate actions of the world's largest emerging economies -- Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa.
"By presenting climate promises without action, the Bush administration undermines German Chancellor Merkel's effort to secure a meaningful agreement at G8," says Hans Verolme, Director of WWF's Global Climate Change Program. "Canada must break ranks with the United States to restore its former reputation as a leader on climate change."
According to the analysis, the United States and Canada have yet to begin limiting emissions of heat trapping gasses in a timeframe that will avoid dangerous climate change.
In an effort to spark global action, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling on fellow heads of government to reach a landmark deal at the G8 Summit in Germany. This should include a commitment to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half before mid- century compared to 1990 levels, and secure the long-term viability of carbon markets. The continuation of the UN climate change process should be the foundation, including a strong outcome at UN talks in Bali in December this year.
"Despite President Bush's proposal, U.S. negotiators continue to oppose virtually all G8 proposals that would go beyond voluntary agreements," adds Verolme. "Canada is tacitly supporting the United States by signaling it will sign up to only the weakest of climate declarations."
"The market has put much faith in the global emission trading scheme. The market value of emission trading could hit the $20 billion mark this year. We therefore need a post-Kyoto regime to continue this market-based mechanism to reduce CO2 emissions. The politicians should not betray the trust the markets have placed in them."
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