Racing to the Bottom: Canada Places Second Last in International Climate Comparison

Dec. 10, 2008

Poznan, Poland - A new international assessment of countries' performance in fighting climate change has placed Canada second last (56th of 57) among the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. In the 2007 edition, Canada placed 53rd of the 56 countries assessed.

"Canada's climate performance could hardly be worse, and we're still moving in the wrong direction," said Matthew Bramley, Director of the Pembina Institute's climate change program, who contributed a Canadian policy assessment to the study. "The federal government needs to dramatically and urgently strengthen its policies to fight global warming."

The report released today is the fourth annual Climate Change Performance Index, an assessment that ranks the climate protection performance of the 57 countries that, together, are responsible for more than 90 per cent of global energy-related emissions. Countries are ranked against standardized criteria that include climate policy, emission level and emissions trend. This year, only Saudi Arabia earned a lower score, and Canada is now last among OECD (industrialized) countries.

The report's release comes as Canada faces mounting criticism for its negotiating position at the UN meetings in Poznan, Poland, on a post-2012 global agreement to cut greenhouse gas pollution.

"With Canada under fire for blocking progress on the world stage, today's study reminds us that our climate performance at home is equally poor," said Dr. Bramley. "Canada has the ability to do so much better. Minister Prentice has a golden opportunity to help repair our credibility by committing right here in Poznan to ramp up Canada's climate targets and policies."

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For more information, contact:

Matthew Bramley
Director, Climate Change
Pembina Institute

The full report is available here. The Pembina Institute's assessment of Canadian climate policies, which was used to calculate Canada's score in the report, is available here.


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