Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Climate Change Virtue And Vice

In honor of the second Meeting of the Parties ("MOP2") of the Kyoto Protocol a consortium of environmental groups have sponsored a league table of the heroes and zeros of global climate change. Germanwatch, an environmental and sustainability group focusing on North-South issues, compiled the data, weighted it based on greenhouse gas emissions levels, national climate policy, and trend indicators, and published the rankings.

Wearing the laurels is Sweden, where, for example, an astounding one quarter of all energy is generated from renewable sources. The worst of the worst is Saudi Arabia, whose energy policies deliberately oppose efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are the top ten climate change heroes:
1. Sweden
2. United Kingdom
3. Denmark
4. Malta
5. Germany
6. Argentina
7. Hungary
8. Brazil
9. India
10. Switzerland
And, here are ten worst climate change offenders:
47. Australia
48. South Korea
49. Iran
50. Thailand
51. Canada
52. Kazakhstan
53. U.S.A.
54. China
55. Malaysia
56. Saudi Arabia
Interestingly, poor, but rapidly developing Brazil and India are both among the most virtuous on the list, while rich, but complacent Canada, Australia, and the United States share the basement. Perhaps the latter should learn some lessons from their former colonial master, Britain, whose climate change virtues are exceeded only by the Swedes. Germanwatch has noted that the United States could rise 30 places in the rankings by adopting British climate change policies.

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