Checking the various international climate performance indices for Canada’s rankings is a depressing business. Consider for example the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI). The CCPI is compiled annually by three NGOs: Germanwatch e.V., the NewClimate Institute and the Climate Action Network International. Based on 14 indicators, it ranks the climate mitigation efforts of 61 countries and the EU, which collectively account for over 90 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The top three rankings in the index are left empty as no country performs well enough to achieve an overall very high rating. Placing four, five and six are, not surprisingly, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, they are closely followed by the United Kingdom.
And our dear country? It sits in an embarrassing 61st place, above Saudi Arabia but below the United States and Australia, although not by much.
Or consider the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), compiled by the non-profits Climate Analytics and the NewClimate Institute. The CAT tracks 39 countries and the EU covering around 85% of global emissions. It provides an overall rating as well as rating each country’s policies and actions, its fair share targets relative to its resources, and how it meets its responsibilities in helping developing countries meet their targets.
The ratings are critically insufficient, highly insufficient, insufficient, almost sufficient and 1.5º Paris Agreement compatible.
Do I need to tell you where we stand? No, not with Russia and Iran as critically insufficient, but next worst at highly insufficient.
The CAT’s comments are not flattering. “If fully implemented, Canada’s current policies … are only in line with 4°C warming. Canada is also not meeting its fair-share contributions to climate change.” “Canada needs to walk the talk when it comes to policy implementation.” “For every step forward, Canada also seems to take two steps back.” “It continues to expand its pipeline capacity for fossil fuels, even though modelling by its own energy regulator shows that the additional capacity exceeds available supply under even relatively unambitious climate policy.”
You get the picture. We’ve simply got to do better. A lot better. We can be a major fossil fuel provider or a climate leader—we can’t be both.