Top G8 emissioners

As the G8 summit heats up in Italy, the WWF in partnership with German financial firm Allianz put out their G8 climate scorecard which ranks G8 countries based on how they addressed climate change issues.

The report showed Germany, followed by the UK and France, as performing better than the rest of the rich nations’ group. Italy and Japan are in a lower medium ranked group. Canada, the USA and Russia are lagging behind, said WWF, despite the USA moving up one rank.

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 said to be based on their progress and improvement made since 1990. WWF said they are looking at the current status of emissions and the countries’ intended policies for the future.

“Industrialized countries as a group should commit to binding absolute emission reduction targets at 40 % below 1990 levels by 2020, the vast majority of these being achieved domestically (30-35 %). They should also commit to put in place Zero Carbon Action Plans (ZCAPs) to achieve zero net emissions (at least -95 %)by 2050.”

Canada is said to have scored the lowest of all G8 countries as their total emissions

steadily increased and are far above the Kyoto target. Their per capita emissions are reportedly among the highest in the world.

More about the report on this video:

With regards to the emerging G5 nations (South Africa, Mexico, China, India, Brazil), all countries are said to have presented or are preparing national strategies to reduce emissions in the future.

China and India reportedly have substantial national energy efficiency targets/objectives of reducing energy use per GDP by 20 % in 5 years (China) and 9 years (India).

Still, according to this New York Times article, these developing nations, led by China and India, refused to commit to specific goals for slashing heat-trapping gases by 2050. In a Reuters report, Brazil said the G8′s goal of cutting global emissions by 50 percent by 2050 and of reducing emissions in wealthy countries by 80 percent is not credible.

A recent draft of the Group of 8 agreement also said emissions should be reduced “to limit the average increase in global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, the meeting’s host, said it made little sense for Group of 8 countries to take on onerous commitments if “five billion people continue to behave as they have always behaved.”

One Response to Top G8 emissioners

  1. peter dublin 9 July, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    Well, there is no doubt that emission reduction could be much simpler!

    Sufficient first phase 2020/2030 emission reduction is achieved by acting on ELECTRICITY generation (coal, gas) and TRANSPORT (mainly automobiles) alone, since these 2 sectors typically (as in the USA) account for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions.

    The focus on electricity and transport gives several advantages:

    1. Local environmental benefit from less pollution of sulphur and all else that’s in the emissions, regardless of the less certain or immediate global benefit from CO2 reduction.

    2. Electricity supply alternatives which together with improved grid distribution gives better competition and keeps down electricity bills for consumers.

    3. Transport alternatives (using electricity, hydrogen and other energy sources), which give variety of choice and competition advantages for consumers, additionally reducing the dependency on oil imports.

    4. No trade problems: Unlike Cap and Trade, which involves cement, steel and other industries having to face imports from unregulated countries, the here suggested electricity and transport changes are not just more limited, but also largely local. Since there is little competition between say utility companies internationally, “best practice” results can be compared and shared.

    Funding and Impact
    Equity and long term loan finance can be used: Long term industrial loans from financial institutions, particularly if federal/state guaranteed, give low yearly interest repayments and lessen the effect on electricity bills or transport cost.

    Compare with
    today’s all-encompassing Cap and Trade (emission trading) suggestions, with unpredictability, expense, and needless disruption from normal business practice on one hand, or unnecessary profiteering from free allowance handouts with little actual emission reduction on the other hand – together with extensive -and unnecessary- regulation on what people can or can’t buy and use.

    Understanding why proposed Cap and Trade is bad, in USA and elsewhere
    Basic Idea — Offsets — Tree Planting — Manufacture Shift — Fair Trade — Surreal Market — Real Market — Allowances: Auctions + Hand-Outs — Allowance Trading — Companies: Business Stability + Business Cost — In Conclusion

    The Way Forward
    Introduction — Funding and Impact —No Energy Efficiency Regulation — A New Electric World
    Electricity Generation — Distribution
    Transport Power Generation — Regulation — Taxation

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