July 01, 2009 05:00 ET

WWF-Canada: Canada Ranked Last in G8 on Climate Action

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 1, 2009) - 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."

For Broadcast:

Canada has now replaced the United States as the worst performer amongst the G8 nations on tackling climate change, according to a report released today by the conservation organization WWF and the insurance company Allianz SE.

Canada ended up at the bottom of the pack because its greenhouse gas emissions are not only still increasing, thanks in large part to the expansion of the tar sands, but also because it lacks a credible plan to reduce emissions in the future. The report found that all nations need to do more to prevent dangerous levels of global warming, but gave top marks to Germany, the United Kingdom and France, who have already achieved their Kyoto targets and are on track to achieve even deeper cuts. The United States rose in the rankings due to recent actions taken by the Obama administration on green energy and vehicle fuel efficiency.

In a sobering Canada Day message, World Wildlife Fund said there is no where else on Earth where so few people steward so many of the planet's resources, and that a continued failure to act on climate change risks Canada being left out of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join and lead a green job revolution.


The full report, an executive summary and a flash application are available at: http://wwf.ca/conservation/global_warming/take_action/g8/

- These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided in the report.

About WWF

WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Visit www.wwf.ca for the latest news and media resources

About Allianz

Allianz SE is member of Transparency International Germany and supports the Principles of the United Nations Global Compact and the OECD Guidelines for Multinationals through its Code of Conduct. Allianz SE is one of the leaders of the insurance sector in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, listed in FTSE4GOOD and in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP6).

This press release and associated material can be found on www.wwf.ca

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