• Germany's news in English

Germany tops G8 climate action ranking

Sabine Devins · 1 Jul 2009, 15:31

Published: 01 Jul 2009 15:31 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

It was the only country to surpass the 50 percent mark, while the UK and France were not far behind, the WWF said. The ranking measures improvements to greenhouse gas emissions in three equal-weighted categories: Improvements since 1990, current status and policies for the future.

“Germany needs to commit to a long-term goal and base those climate policies on scientific data. If it does that, then its score will improve even more,” Dr. Thomas Duveau, officer of the climate and finance sector for the WWF told The Local. “This is a relative ranking. In absolute terms, Germany is doing half of what it needs to do.”

Duveau added Germany’s success with setting mid-term goals moved them up from last year’s third place to first. A law enacted this year, which set a target of a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2020, boosted Germany to the top of the rankings.

The UK and France fared relatively well on the list because of their long-term goals, which respectively aim for an 80 percent and 75 percent reduction of emissions down to 1990 levels. Duveau says since the laws have come in to play, industries are adjusting.

“Companies will have to use innovation to adapt to the targets. Since a concrete law has passed in the UK that tells the companies they must reduce their emissions, they’ve adapted. Businesses need to translate what climate change means for them and apply it to their future plans,” he said.

Canada was at the bottom of this year’s rich G8 countries, having among the highest per capita carbon emissions in the world, spurred along by its high-pollution oilsands industry.

Meanwhile new climate policies announced by the Obama administration in the United States helped that country move up from the bottom of the list to seventh place.

“Looking at the scorecard, Germany can be a role model in renewable energy, but no individual country is performing well on all 10 criteria in the report,” said Duveau. “You need to take a combination of all countries in order to get the ideal.”

Story continues below…

The report, done in association with German insurance giant Allianz for the third year in a row, was released ahead of the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, starting July 8 and ahead of December’s UN climate summit in Copenhagen, in which a follow-up treaty to the Kyoto Accord will be negotiated.

The WWF says a 95 percent reduction in greenhouse gases from 1990 levels needs to be made in order to slow climate change.

Sabine Devins (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd