US at Bottom of G8 Emissions Reduction/Climate Change Action Rankings

The US ranks next to last among G8 member countries when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and paving the way toward a clean energy economy, according to a World Wildlife Fund-Allianz SE study released July 1.

US greenhouse emissions have risen by almost 15% since 1990–the base reference year used in the voluntary CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets built into the UN Kyoto Protocol global climate change agreement–the main reason why the US ranks as low as it does among its peer group of developed, industrialized nations, according to the G8 Climate Scorecard.

Urging Action

“For too long, the U.S. has resisted action while other nations have begun the transition to a clean energy economy. Other nations have dramatically cut greenhouse gas pollution, set national targets, ramped up investments in energy technology and set regulatory frameworks to spark innovation in key sectors. And now other countries dominate markets in sustainable energy and technology,” WWF president and CEO Carter Roberts stated in a media release.

Some Congressional representatives opposing the American Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009, which cleared the House of Representatives by a narrow margin last week demanded that other countries “first step up to the plate,” Roberts noted.

“The truth is that not only has much of the rest of the world already been at the plate, they’re several innings into the game and we’re only now emerging from the dugout.”

He urged senators to take up and pass the ACES forward for Pres. Obama’s signing in time to prepare for the upcoming UN climate change agreement negotiations in Copenhagen this December.

“It is time for the U.S. to get into the game and make up for lost time. Passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act by the House on Friday took us a big step forward. We need the Senate to pass the bill, get it to the President before Copenhagen and give us the means to challenge other countries to work with us in solving this global problem,” Roberts said.

G8 Climate Scorecard

Using a variety of metrics, the study assesses and ranks the policies of G8 countries, including reduction or growth of greenhouse gas emissions since 1990, the percentage of a country’s energy portfolio derived from renewable sources, and investments in clean energy technology.

No G8 member’s efforts were sufficient to rank in the report’s “Good” category. Ranking ahead of Canada and behind Russia, the next-to-last-place finish is actually a step up for the US, which has consistently ranked last in these annual reports, according to WWF. “Green” energy and economic stimulus included in federal emergency legislation late last year, a push in Congress to pass bills that would cut CO2 and GHG emissions reduction along with Pres. Obama’s stated efforts to foster a new low carbon/clean energy economy boosted the US up one place in the ranking.

Germany ranked first in the study, followed by the United Kingdom and France. All three have cut their greenhouse gas emissions to the point where they have already met the voluntary reductions they agreed to try to meet as per the Kyoto Protocol.

The WWF-Allianz SE G8 Climate Scorecard report is available here.

Andrew Burger
Andrew Burger
A product of the New York City public school system, Andrew Burger went on to study geology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, work in the wholesale money and capital markets for a major Japanese bank and earn an MBA in finance.

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  1. The AGW mistake: In 1984 Hansen et al published a paper that showed a method to calculate control loop feedback from temperature using separate calculations of feedback factors for each phenomenon. Climate Scientists calculated feedbacks for phenomena that they knew about and added them together. The calculation resulted in a net positive feedback from temperature. With net positive feedback the climate models predict significant future global temperature rise. The method assumes that the calculations of feedback factors are correct and that all feedbacks have been accounted for. The assumption is wrong. This mistake has propagated through most of the Climate Science community.

    Many Climate Scientists appear to understand some relevant science poorly (it’s not in their curriculum) and therefore do not recognize the significance of accepted paleo temperature data. With understanding of the missing science and knowledge of the data it is trivial to show that NET feedback on temperature can not be significantly positive. Thus Climate Scientists have not calculated feedback correctly and/or all feedbacks have not been accounted for. Without net positive feedback, added atmospheric carbon dioxide has no significant influence on average global temperature. See the pdfs linked from for the evidence, to identify the missing science and to see the cause of the temperature run-up in the late 20th century.

    There is still the certainty of peek oil given the finite resource. Research money would be far better spent to modify the dna of some algae that are high oil producers to make them more robust and/or other algae that are robust to make them higher oil producers. (There was Government sponsored research to identify high oil-producing algae in the 90s that was not exploited because of cheap oil at that time) Calculations based on that work show that an open facility (which could be located in the desert) 120 miles on a side using only sunlight, sea water and genetically engineered algae could produce enough oil to meet all liquid fuel needs in the U.S.A. Alternatively fast breeder reactors with established technology could meet all of humanities needs for energy for millions of years.


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