On the latest G8 Climate Scorecard (PDF) released in advance of the L’Aquila, Italy G8 Summit, Canada has fallen into last place now that the Obama administration is reversing the global warming policies of his predecessor. The report chastises Canada as one of the few developed countries in the world with dramatically rising greenhouse gas emissions, and no real plan to control them. The scorecard also notes that Germany is the acknowledged G8 leader when it comes to climate change, and that UK, Germany and France have all been enacting successful policies to cut emissions, with all three nations expected to exceed their Kyoto obligations.
But the report argues that this still isn’t good enough. By a long shot.
The scorecard was released by the WWF and financial services giant Allianz SE. It noted that Canada’s emissions have risen by 26% over 1990 levels, and that telling statistic means that Canada’s per capita emissions will soon surpass the US. And the sad truth is that per capita emissions in Canada and the US are double those in Europe.
“We emit more greenhouse gases than half the countries in the world put together,” said Keith Stewart, WWF-Canada’s climate change campaign manager. “We have the resources – financially, intellectually, ecologically – to be leaders, and we’ve simply chosen not to… Canada is becoming increasingly isolated in clinging to the fossil economy while the rest of the world is moving on to green economy.”
Stewart argues that Canada’s poor showing is especially irksome given country’s inherent natural wealth. “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. Canada’s future lies in creating green jobs on a living planet, not in becoming the energy sweatshop for the world.”
The report suggests that while some countries are pulling their weight, much remains to be done, and the lack of leadership among G8 nations is discouraging. Even the top countries are not committing to medium-term emission reductions by recent scientific studies. In the report’s foreword , James Leape, Director General of WWF International and Allianz board member Joachim Faber, urged the nations to take dramatic action now to seal the 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. It is therefore crucial to limit the rise of global temperature to below two degrees compared to pre-industrial levels.”