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Germany tops, Canada, Russia last on climate

earth-3dG8 countries as a whole aren’t doing enough to protect the world against climate change, but some nations are working harder than others, according to a ranking prepared by Allianz and WWF.

Germany, followed by the UK and France, are the best performers, according to the new G8 Climate Scorecards report. Italy and Japan are in a lower medium ranked group, while Canada, the US and Russia are lagging behind, despite the US moving up one rank.

The report carried out by Ecofys for WWF and Allianz SE ranks the top eight industrialized countries and five major developing countries according to their climate change policies.

With just five months to go before crucial climate talks begin in Copenhagen, the 2009 edition of the annual WWF-Allianz G8 climate scorecards shows that, while some efforts had been made, action remains insufficient to set the world on a low-carbon economy course.

The report states the lack of a clear leader among the ranked nations and while Germany has slightly improved, countries such as Canada and Russia have completely failed to pass the test.

“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,” write WWF head James Leape and Allianz board member Joachim Faber in the foreword to the report. “It is therefore crucial to limit the rise of global temperature to below two degrees compared to pre-industrial levels.”

The G8 Climate Scorecards 2009 measure countries’ performance and trends in areas such as development of greenhouse gas emissions since 1990, the distance to their Kyoto targets, their share of renewable energies and the efficiency of their climate policies.

The evaluation is based on their progress and improvement made since 1990, is looking at the current status of emissions and the intended policies for the future.

According to the report, Germany, the United Kingdom and France have already achieved their Kyoto targets — but their long-term climate performance is not adequate to limit the global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius.

Climate initiatives so far planned or announced by the Obama administration have helped the US climb from the last rank to seventh place.

Canada and Russia, which are at the bottom of the rank, either do not have political plans to change this development or do not implement them.

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