Even the best G8 countries aren't doing enough to fight climate change, the WWF saysImage: AP
July 8, 2009
None of the G-8 countries is on track to fend off the dangers of climate change, WWF's Kim Carstensen told Deutsche Welle. Leaders need to agree on goals and financing for a deal at major climate talks in December.
Kim Carstensen is the head of the World Wide Fund for Nature's Global Climate Initiative. The WWF and Allianz recently released the G-8 Climate Scorecards 2009, which rank G-8 members according to their improvements since 1990, their current status and their policies for the future.
Deutsche Welle: How important of a role do the G-8 countries play in the potential success of climate talks at the end of the year in Copenhagen?
Kim Carstensen: The level of commitment from developed countries needs to be carried by the biggest and strongest economies, and they are the G-8 countries. Without the G-8 countries coming together and committing to targets, committing to finances, committing to action on adaptation and on support for developing countries - if we don't get the G-8 countries to come forward and commit to that then it's going to be impossible to get a strong enough deal in Copenhagen in December.
Looking at the current status of G-8 countries in the WWF report, Japan and Italy have earned some of the highest scores. What are they doing that the other six nations aren't?
They have a situation where their actual emissions in Italy are relatively low so they have a relatively high efficiency in their economy - so the status they have is relatively good. But they are not very strong in terms of their action and policies for the future. Japan also has a relatively energy efficient economy and made some very good progress even before the Kyoto Protocol was established, and therefore its current status is still relatively good.
When it comes to plans for the future, the top three G-8 countries - as far as climate change action is concerned - are Germany, the United Kingdom and France. Are they on target to stay that way?
Looking at the policies for the future, none of these countries is actually doing enough to save the world from dangerous climate change and that is the real concern that this exercise shows. We are not on track to really solve the problem even in the best cases of countries like Germany, the UK and France. Even they do not do enough to live up to what they really need to do.
If they don't get competition from the other countries, everything is going to go wrong in terms of climate change. If they do get competition, they are still not yet on track - and nobody is at the moment.
Click on the link in the audio section below to listen to the entire interview with Kim Carstensen, the head of the Global Climate Initiative at WWF International.