Canada ranked as worst performer in the developed world on climate change

Canada won a sad distinction today, falling  to 58th place out of 61 countries analyzed for their policies and action on climate change this year, trailed only by Kazakhstan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, according to Climate Action Network Canada (CANC).  Here's what CANC has to say on the matter:

The annual Climate Change Performance Index is released by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe and is based on an analysis of government climate policy in each country.

“At a time when institutions such as the World Bank and the International Energy Agency are calling for more climate action it is disappointing to have so many countries still being reluctant to move forward. Canada is a strong example of this lack of willingness to improve climate policies,” said Wendel Trio, Director of the European Climate Action Network.

The report examines current emissions levels, development of emissions, renewable energy, efficiency, and climate policy. Canada scores the lowest ranking of ‘very poor’ with respect to current emissions, renewable energy, and climate policy. On efficiency Canada is given a ranking of ‘poor’, and in development of emissions a ranking of ‘good,’ with a strong caveat that it is not cause for celebration if progress in some sectors is completely negated by soaring emissions from the oil and gas sector.

The report also notes that in light of recent extreme weather events as well as sobering reports on the world’s current pathway towards 4 degrees of global warming, no developed country is doing their fair share when it comes to action on climate change.

“Canada has become the poster child for climate inaction, which represents a really long fall from where we were less than a decade ago,” says Patrick Bonin of Greenpeace Canada. “It has been hard to watch the unraveling of a rational and reasonable approach to science, while at the same time seeing more devastating extreme weather impacts all around us, it just makes you wonder what it is going to take for this government to get it.”

Environment Canada reports show that the government does not have the policies in place necessary to meet their current goals, which have been widely criticized for being among the weakest in the industrialized world. Canada was the only country to weaken its climate target under the Copenhagen Accord and has since become the only country to withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol. This indifference and inaction in the face of global climate change has drawn sharp criticism from leaders around the world.

The report comes as Ministers and high-level officials arrive in Doha, Qatar for the conclusion of this year’s United Nations climate change conference. Canada has also been singled out at these negotiations for failing to live up to commitments to support poorer countries as they adapt to a problem they did nothing to create.

“The world has had enough of Canada’s inaction on climate change – it is clear that this government’s reckless fixation on the tar sands is going to cost us not only a safe and healthy future and economy for our children, but also our international credibility,” says Steven Guilbeault of Equiterre

The full report can be found here: http://germanwatch.org/en/5698

Learn more about Canada, Big Oil, and climate change. Read "Extract: The Pipeline Wars Vol. 1 Enbridge", based on the last year of VO reporting on the issue. Buy it here.

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