Canada seen worst of G8 not curbing climate change

Wed Jul 1, 2009 11:55am EDT
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By Daniel Flynn

ROME (Reuters) - With only five months to go until a new global pact on climate change, none of the Group of Eight nations is doing enough to curb global warming, with Canada and the United States ranking bottom, a study said on Wednesday.

The "G8 Climate Scorecards," compiled by environmental group WWF, said even the greenest members of the rich nations' club -- Germany, Britain and France -- were not on track to meet a "danger threshold" of limiting temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius.

G8 leaders gather in Italy next week to discuss the world financial crisis and climate change, hoping to make progress toward a new pact on global warming due to be signed in Copenhagen in December to replace the 1997 Kyoto deal.

They will be joined by members of U.S. President Barack Obama's Major Economies Forum in a bid to forge broad consensus.

"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," WWF head James Leape wrote in the foreword to the report.

Wednesday's annual G8 scorecard singled out Canada, saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper's conservative government had not implemented a plan to curb emissions, already among the highest in the world per capita and steadily increasing. Canada was not even close to meeting its Kyoto agreements, the WWF said.

The report praised U.S. President Obama for prioritizing clean energy in his economic recovery package and promoting green legislation, but said U.S. per capita emissions were among the highest in the world and were projected to rise.

"There has been more action in the U.S. in the last four months than in the last three decades -- a trend that will hopefully continue," the report said.   Continued...

<p>Prime Minister Stephen Harper shields his eyes from the stage lights as he looks for a reporter during a question period at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia June 25, 2009. REUTERS/Paul Darrow</p>