July 03, 2008 05:00 ET

Annual WWF Scorecard Ranks Canada Second-Last Among G8 Countries in Race Against Dangerous Climate Change

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 3, 2008) - Canada and the US are at the back of the G8 pack in the race against irreversible climate change, according to the 2008 G8 Climate Scorecards released today by the conservation organization WWF and Allianz SE. Each of the G8 countries were evaluated against twelve objective performance criteria, including greenhouse gas emission trends and progress made toward meeting Kyoto targets.

Canada scored seventh, just ahead of the United States, with very high emissions per capita compared to the average of industrialized countries. Alberta's highly energy-intensive tar sands extraction and processing also figured in the country's low score-as did the lack of provincial or federal regulations sufficient to reduce overall emissions, Canada's reluctance to comply with Kyoto targets, and a persistent trend of growing emissions. A federal plan to curb emissions has been developed but is focused on reducing emission intensities and is yet to be implemented.

"The good news is that some provinces and municipalities are starting to take action on climate change, or the Prime Minister would have very little to show the other G8 leaders," said Julia Langer, Director of WWF-Canada's Climate Change Program. "But all the G8 countries are doing too little, too late, to steer the world towards a low carbon, clean energy economy. None of the eight leading industrialized countries is working quickly enough to develop and deploy ambitious climate policies."

The United States scored lowest of all G8 countries. As the largest emitter with the highest per capita emissions, the US has not ratified the Kyoto protocol and greenhouse gas emissions are continually increasing. While the emergence of substantial activities are noted at the state level, the 2008 G8 Climate Scorecards observed that few substantive federal measures are in place to curb emissions in the short term. But there is hope: US legislation to cap emissions is imminent and businesses are preparing for a new commodity market, with potential for continental spill over.

The UK, France, Germany and Italy topped the Scorecards. The UK's innovative Climate Change Bill is recognized, but more could be done to accelerate its use of renewable energy, improve poor standards of energy efficiency, and stop proposals for unabated coal plants. France scored well on objectives and international positions, but risks losing its relatively high ranking in next year's Scorecards if it fails to implement new policies and measures that were decided upon during a multi-party stakeholder discussion last year. Germany, while successful with its regulatory framework for renewable energy, has failed to take a clear stance against coal power and has pushed for a weak EU emission trading system. Italy has started some efforts to address climate change and benefits from having agreed to relevant EU policies, but has not implemented many national measures.

Japan, host of this year's G8 Summit , ranked a problematic fifth. Its emissions are increasing and the government has yet to announce any mid-term emissions reduction targets. Russia, whose emissions plummeted compared to 1990 levels, lost its early advantage and has few national policies, none yet implemented. A recent announcement by Russian Prime Minister Putin to increase energy efficiency dramatically could influence standing in next year's Scorecards.

"The G8 countries have a responsibility to be high achievers in the race against climate change," said Dr Joachim Faber, holding board member of Allianz SE, a major international presence in the insurance sector with a longstanding interest in climate change and its economic and environmental repercussions, and sponsor of the Scorecards. "The G8 Summit is the place for political leaders to show where the world is heading and to shape that future. Climate change can create huge opportunities for clean technologies. Allianz SE sees here an enormous potential for investment, growth and jobs. One important element to develop this potential is the promotion of a global carbon market."

"The Japanese Presidency of the G8 Summit is responsible for brokering a decisive deal and should not tolerate a weak outcome," said Langer. WWF is calling on Heads of State at the G8 Summit to commit to a binding long-term target for emission reductions of at least 80 per cent by 2050, and as close to 40 per cent by 2020 as possible.

The Scorecards also analyze the five emerging economies: Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa. These countries cannot be measured with the same ruler as industrialized countries, and hence are not part of the ranking. The scorecards reveal great differences between them, in terms of development, energy mix, and resulting emissions. A key question for the G8 is how industrialized countries will assist these +5 countries to bring about the move to a low carbon development.


As leaders of the G8 nations prepare for their summit in Japan, Canada has been handed a failing grade in WWF's annual G8 Climate Scorecards. The Scorecards rank each nation according to their plans and progress in fighting climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Canada placed seventh of the eight countries scored, finishing ahead of only the United States.

2008 G8 Climate Scorecards (full report)

Ranking summary

WWF G8 Position Paper

Related materials available at wwf.ca

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