WWF-Canada

WWF-Canada

July 04, 2005 10:03 ET

Canada, US rank lowest on climate scorecard

Bush administration the weakest link in G8 climate talks Attention: Environment Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Science Editor, World News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 4, 2005) - The US is bottom of the G8 climate change class, turning in the worst performance of all the top eight economies in dealing with global warming, according to a new rating published by WWF.

The global conservation organization's "G8 Climate Scorecards" show that while the US remains the climate change schoolroom dunce, none of the others look particularly bright either. No G8 country could truly claim to be a leader when it comes to cutting emissions, increasing the share of renewable energies or improving energy efficiency.

"The Bush administration is not only failing to deal with the threat of climate change but is also actively trying to water-down the G8 effort and outcome," said Jennifer Morgan, Director WWF's Global Climate Change Programme. "If the US insists on lagging behind then it's time for them to be left behind."

The scorecards use ten criteria to provide a comparable snapshot of recent and expected greenhouse gas emissions in each of the G8 economies, and evaluate the performance by how effectively governments are reacting to the threat of climate change.

Within the scorecards, the US performed worst, with the highest emission rates for greenhouse gases (around two thirds of its energy is from coal and oil) and per capita energy consumption, nor a party to the Kyoto Protocol. France, Germany and the UK are furthest along in dealing with climate change, but even their emissions will increase unless if further measures are implemented soon. Canada, Italy, Japan and Russia rank much lower.

Canada is in penultimate position because greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 21% against the Kyoto benchmark when the requirement is for a 6% decrease, per capita and industrial energy consumption is very high, and electricity from renewable sources (mainly very large-scale hydro) is unambitious compared to others in the class.

"A lame G8 statement will come back to haunt Mr. Martin when Canada takes up the chair of the Kyoto process" said Julia Langer, Director of WWF-Canada's Global Threats programme, referring to the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol which Canada will host in Montreal in November. "Canada has to both demonstrate improvement on all its climate change indicators and rally international creativity and support for Kyoto II."

Five major developing countries represented at the G8 climate talks -- Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa -- are expecting large growth in emissions as their economies expand. WWF is calling on the G8 to announce clear programmes and financing to assist them to develop in a less carbon-intensive fashion.

The global conservation organization also wants the G8 to commit to keeping the rise in global temperatures below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, provide a clear policy framework for Kyoto countries to meet their targets, and for all countries to support even deeper cuts in CO2 emissions.

--30-

To obtain a copy of the scorecard or to arrange interviews contact:

In Canada: Kyle Ferguson, Manager, Communications, WWF-Canada kferguson@wwfcanada.org
In Gleneagles: Brian Thomson 011 41 79 477 3553, bthomson@wwfint.org or Helen McDade, 011 44 7780 957665, hmcdade@wwfscotland.org.uk.

EDITORS NOTES

1. The G8 Climate Scorecards are available at http://www.panda.org/climate

Ø WWF-CANADA RECOGNIZES THE G8 CLIMATE CHANGE RANKING PRODUCED BY THE DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION, WHICH WHILE DEVELOPED INDEPENDENTLY, REACHES THE SAME CONCLUSIONS AS THE WWF G8 CLIMATE SCORECARDS

2. WWF's materials on G8 are available at http://www.panda.org/climate/g8. They include briefings on G8 policy, on carbon-neutral technology alternatives, and on climate change impacts.

3. A full copy of the WWF commissioned report - Climate change impacts in the Mediterranean resulting from a 2°C global temperature rise - can be downloaded at http://www.panda.org/climate/med2degrees.

4. The Kyoto Treaty implements the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Kyoto Protocol sets binding targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for industrialized countries; its text was adopted at the Kyoto conference of the Parties to the Climate Treaty in December 1997 in Japan

5. For climate change B-roll footage contact Claire Doole, Head of Press, WWF International, t +41 22 364 9565, email cdoole@wwfint.org.

6. For more information on WWF's Global Climate Change Programme go to http://www.panda.org/climate.

7. For more information on WWF's PowerSwitch! Campaign got to http://www.panda.org/powerswitch.
IN: ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, INTERNATIONAL, POLITICS

Contact Information