Environmental campaigners Greenpeace has released a ranking of the world’s leaders with regards to their respective commitments to tackling climate change. With the Copenhagen summit around the corner there is a massive media focus on the world’s leading economies to make real commitments to the environmental cause and Greenpeace are making an effort to look beyond the political spin.
Surprisingly Barack Obama is found wanting in the list with Greenpeace not impressed by the actions of the new American President. In the report, Greenpeace state that
“President Obama’s election hasn’t brought the breath of fresh air to climate talks that many had hoped for. Instead, it’s seen as a perpetuation of Bush-era efforts to disrupt and water down attempts to agree to a strong treaty as Obama tries to bring the whole world down to his own level of ambition”.
Certainly, with a rating of 8/100 Greenpeace have made clear that while the world’s most powerfulnation does little to address the issue of climate change, anything that occurs at Copenhagen will be futile.
Other powerful economies fared better with India’s Prime Minister Singh being lauded for his recent efforts to take on polluters. In the ranking table Singh was given a fairly good 53/100. The report stated,
“Singh has recently announced massive solar projects to accompany strong energy efficiency targets.”
However it also went on to criticise his policies regarding deforestation on the Indian sub-continent. The UK prime minister, Gordon Brown also benefited from the support his government ministers, and in particular the DECC has so far given to the solar industry in the UK with his recent announcement of the introduction of the Clean Energy Cash Back System, a feed-in tariff designed to incentivise investment in the solar industry. However, the report commented that Brown,
“Has failed to embrace renewable energy and an inability to quit coal has put the UK Prime Minister at odds with his own advisers on climate change. The EU’s wrangling over finance has left the UK unable to offer more than words to developing nations”.
The Copenhagen summit will highlight key deficiencies in global policy and will once again bring to th fore the debate in the UK regarding the feed-in tariff rate which will certainly need to be increased if Gordon Brown is to be taken seriously as a man with a real commitment to thwart the on set of global warming.