Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

WWF Slaps U.S. Government Over Lack Of Energy Efficiency Progress

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 16 comments

Washington D.C. - Just in time for next week’s G8 summit in Japan, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has released a new report examining the progress of each of the G8 countries toward addressing climate change, a main focus of this year’s meeting. The ranking lists energy efficiency progress made in each of the G8 nations. There are very few surprises - especially the fact that the U.S. once again trails the pack.

Environmental scorecards are a rather new publicity tool that we are seeing more and more these days. Organizations such as Greenpeace or ClimateCounts.org are using scorecards to shed light on what most of us are struggling to understand - the impact of our current actions on our planet. The upcoming G8 meeting is likely to provide lots of new data, ideas, discussions, proposals and arguments on energy policies. The WWF today provided a detailed summary of the current state on energy efficiency in the G8 nations and, to a lesser degree "+5" countries.

The G8 ranking is separated in three portions - the lowest scoring countries, medium-scoring and top-scoring nations.

WWF Wildlife environment

The U.S was ranked as "the worst of all G8 countries." The WWF described the U.S. as being the "largest emitter with the highest per capita emissions and an increasing trend in total emissions." The organization recognized that "substantial [energy efficiency] activities emerge at the state level, little substantive federal measures are in place to curb emissions in the short term."

Slightly better than the U.S. was Canada with "very high per capita emissions, a steadily increasing trend in total emissions (recently revised upwards), far away from its Kyoto target and inadequate mid to long-term greenhouse gas targets." Russia came in at #6 and "ranks a bit better due to declining absolute emissions in the early 1990s and a large share of less CO2-intensive natural gas." However, the WWF said that Russia’s emissions have increased steadily since 1999 "and there is hardly any policy in place to curb emissions."

On the other end of the scale are the UK, France and Germany.

According to the WWF "Germany’s emissions declined 1990 to 2000 partly due to economic downturn in Eastern Germany but also due to national measures. Since then, emissions are stable and a gap to meet the Kyoto target is expected if no immediate measures are put in place or external credits are purchased." The organizations criticized that Germany is "politically less ambitious for electricity production from fossil fuels, facing a high share of coal and lignite and announced investment plans that
would lock Germany into a high level of carbon intensiveness for the next 40 years."

Emission rates (per capita and per GDP) in France (#2) are described as "relatively low for an industrialized country, partially due to a high share of nuclear energy (which WWF does not consider as viable policy). Emissions have been roughly stable since 1990."

The UK (#1) has made the most progress, the WWF said, with emission’s already below the Kyoto target -
"largely due to a transition from coal to gas in the 1990s." the organization noted that the fall in emissions has "levelled off since 2000 and the share of coal has again increased and emissions are expected to rise further."

Overall, the WWF claims that the energy efficiency potential is not tapped. "Although large potential exists to save energy and money at the same time, all G8 countries have insufficient policies
in place to overcome barriers to energy efficiency," the organization said.

"Countries’ programs are incomplete focusing on only some aspects such as appliances or buildings. Efficiency improvements in transport are usually not sufficiently encouraged. Japan scores well on dynamic efficiency standards for appliances and cars but leaves energy performance of buildings and in the power sector uncovered. Canada, USA and Russia rank last on energy efficiency with broadly insufficient or lacking policies," the report states.

Display 16 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 3, 2008 7:22 PM
    honestly though, who cares?
  • -3 Hide
    mrbungle123 , July 3, 2008 7:44 PM
    they can take their price inflating special interest group pandering policies and shove them up their ass! The Brits are using less because their gas is the equivalent of $9 a gallon and they probably can't afford it. $4.30 is bad enough, lets drill some holes in the ground and get prices under control so that people can afford to eat and heat their houses this winter without working 3 jobs.
  • -2 Hide
    1971Rhino , July 3, 2008 9:21 PM
    What does this have ta do with wrasslin' ?
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 3, 2008 9:27 PM
    I would rather drive my old jeep with its 4.0L engine (which had to be discontinued in the United States ONLY due to its emissions) than purchace any sort of car that meet emissions simply because of the reliability. I would rather spend a little extra in gas and increase the polluting the atmosphere than buy a modern car that ill spend more fixing than keeping my polluting, gas guzzling jeep. i think that saving 4 grand a year is worth it.
  • -1 Hide
    Mr_Man , July 3, 2008 9:38 PM
    1971RhinoWhat does this have ta do with wrasslin' ?

    I was thinking the same thing. "The World Wrestling Federation slaps the US government for not being green? What?"
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 3, 2008 9:53 PM
    I expected to see a pic of Hulk Hogan ripping off his shirt while talking smack about big oil and energy inefficiency! BROTHER!
  • 3 Hide
    mdillenbeck , July 3, 2008 10:27 PM
    Who cares? I do, as do many of the people I know. I would think those with children, breathe the air, use electricity, drive, eat fish, drink, and so forth would be interested also. What is being discussed is not preservation of the environment for the environment's sake, but the sustainability of living conditions for the human species and whether or not we are altering the Earth's ability to sustain human life and our existing cultures.

    Also, I don't think much of their actions have inflated prices for oil. The weakening dollar, credit crunch cause by the sub-prime mortgage fallout, and increased global consumption has impacted the price of fuel far more significantly than any environmental legislation.

    Lets face it, the populations of India and China are now saying they want to drive their cheap to repair gas guzzling jeeps and so the scales of economy are taking a bite at wasteful nations like the US. (Yes, wasteful - why else does the US maintain some of the lowest CAFE standards globally? Why else does such a small percentage of the global population consume such a disproportionate amount of global resources?)

    As to the higher prices in the UK being a factor, there are others too. Compare per capita rates of vehicle ownership, public transportation usage, and travel distances and you will see other trends. Why is it the US, with 48 contiguous states, relies on individual vehicular and air travel? Where are the developed mass transit systems and the railway systems that a land-based nation like the US could develop for efficient travel?

    Of course, lets get back into economies of scale - China is building coal plants at a phenomenal rate. If I recall, they are near or have exceeded what took the US its entire span to develop. Do you really believe that CO2 levels are not influenced? Do you really believe this has no impact on our environment?

    Consider gas pressures then. As the proportion of CO2 increases in our atmosphere, the pressure of that component will force more CO2 into the oceans. With these increased levels, the CO2 reacts with the water molecules and produces H2CO3, carbonic acid. Ocean acidity increases.

    From chemistry lets move onto biology. Many oceanic entities can only survive in specific ranges of pH. As acidity increases, environmental stresses increase and organisms die. These include organisms at the bottom of the food chain, which then can threaten food sources which we harvest. The carbonic acid can also effect certain hard-shelled organisms, softening the shells and leaving them vulnerable to predators.

    Of course, lets fall into the classic myth that it is environment versus economy and quality of life. Ignore the boom-collapse cycle of wind and solar industries in the US as we let the Production Tax Credit lapse, while other nations see a strong and healthy economy rise out of converting to producing these devices (and improving their national security by promoting energy independence). Ignore changing climate issues that are occurring.

    After all, as long as you can throw your trash into your neighbor's (or my) yard to preserve your air-conditions home with pristine manicured green lawn (who's run off leads to algae blooms, eventual oxygen depletion, and finally fish/aquatic life die offs and starvation of other people and yourself), why should you care? Be like the corporate raiders who buy out a company, fire everyone, and gut it for your personal gain - because that is the world we want. Self-centered and self-absorbed. Keep believing that you are man, you are not part of the environment, and that the meat- and gasoline-fairies use magic to bring what you need to market. Screw your neighbor, screw your children - think only of yourself and your quality of life.

    This is why I hate reading stories about environmentalism and issues of sustainability - it reveals just how arrogant, ignorant, and egotistical people really are.

    So enjoy the future you made as economies of scale overwhelm you. China and India want their turn at consuming resources at the same rate as the US - so for those in the US get ready to pony up. Our entitlement is about to end.
  • 2 Hide
    blackwidow_rsa , July 3, 2008 11:09 PM
    Someone with a decent post - finally
  • 0 Hide
    lordmetroid , July 3, 2008 11:59 PM
    Could we please stop with these environmental news?
    I am not interested, I come here for tech news!
  • -2 Hide
    baddad , July 4, 2008 12:05 AM
    MDillenbeckWho cares? I do, as do many of the people I know. I would think those with children, breathe the air, use electricity, drive, eat fish, drink, and so forth would be interested also. What is being discussed is not preservation of the environment for the environment's sake, but the sustainability of living conditions for the human species and whether or not we are altering the Earth's ability to sustain human life and our existing cultures.Also, I don't think much of their actions have inflated prices for oil. The weakening dollar, credit crunch cause by the sub-prime mortgage fallout, and increased global consumption has impacted the price of fuel far more significantly than any environmental legislation.Lets face it, the populations of India and China are now saying they want to drive their cheap to repair gas guzzling jeeps and so the scales of economy are taking a bite at wasteful nations like the US. (Yes, wasteful - why else does the US maintain some of the lowest CAFE standards globally? Why else does such a small percentage of the global population consume such a disproportionate amount of global resources?)As to the higher prices in the UK being a factor, there are others too. Compare per capita rates of vehicle ownership, public transportation usage, and travel distances and you will see other trends. Why is it the US, with 48 contiguous states, relies on individual vehicular and air travel? Where are the developed mass transit systems and the railway systems that a land-based nation like the US could develop for efficient travel?Of course, lets get back into economies of scale - China is building coal plants at a phenomenal rate. If I recall, they are near or have exceeded what took the US its entire span to develop. Do you really believe that CO2 levels are not influenced? Do you really believe this has no impact on our environment?Consider gas pressures then. As the proportion of CO2 increases in our atmosphere, the pressure of that component will force more CO2 into the oceans. With these increased levels, the CO2 reacts with the water molecules and produces H2CO3, carbonic acid. Ocean acidity increases.From chemistry lets move onto biology. Many oceanic entities can only survive in specific ranges of pH. As acidity increases, environmental stresses increase and organisms die. These include organisms at the bottom of the food chain, which then can threaten food sources which we harvest. The carbonic acid can also effect certain hard-shelled organisms, softening the shells and leaving them vulnerable to predators.Of course, lets fall into the classic myth that it is environment versus economy and quality of life. Ignore the boom-collapse cycle of wind and solar industries in the US as we let the Production Tax Credit lapse, while other nations see a strong and healthy economy rise out of converting to producing these devices (and improving their national security by promoting energy independence). Ignore changing climate issues that are occurring.After all, as long as you can throw your trash into your neighbor's (or my) yard to preserve your air-conditions home with pristine manicured green lawn (who's run off leads to algae blooms, eventual oxygen depletion, and finally fish/aquatic life die offs and starvation of other people and yourself), why should you care? Be like the corporate raiders who buy out a company, fire everyone, and gut it for your personal gain - because that is the world we want. Self-centered and self-absorbed. Keep believing that you are man, you are not part of the environment, and that the meat- and gasoline-fairies use magic to bring what you need to market. Screw your neighbor, screw your children - think only of yourself and your quality of life.This is why I hate reading stories about environmentalism and issues of sustainability - it reveals just how arrogant, ignorant, and egotistical people really are.So enjoy the future you made as economies of scale overwhelm you. China and India want their turn at consuming resources at the same rate as the US - so for those in the US get ready to pony up. Our entitlement is about to end.

    Another America hater. If were so bad why don't you go live in Japan so we will have one less moron voting for save the planet crap that's totally unproven.
  • 3 Hide
    saturn77 , July 4, 2008 3:31 AM
    China's car fleet already averages 35mpg while ours can barely get to 25mpg.
  • -1 Hide
    nukemaster , July 4, 2008 2:54 PM
    Mr_ManI was thinking the same thing. "The World Wrestling Federation slaps the US government for not being green? What?"

    HAHA.

    Its been WWE for a while now.
  • -1 Hide
    frozenlead , July 5, 2008 12:34 AM
    @ MDillenbeck

    People forget that the U.S. is not a developing nation. It is much easier to build efficiently from the start than to make something old more efficient. Countries like China and Japan get their efficiency from the fact that all of their infrastructure is brand new. In the U.S., however, things have been aging for decades. Old technologies are often proven to be inefficient bad ideas by newer ones - but we don't have the cash to drive ourselves into a hole just to replace it all. Not to say that China has the money - but they only have half the work to do; there's nothing to replace.
    So, it's a lot more complicated than just saying "no more individual transportation, public only!" when there just isn't anywhere to put bullet trains and monorails. Even if there was, it would be so expensive that it would never get completed - the company doing the work would go out of business.
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , July 5, 2008 3:33 AM
    Quote:
    @ MDillenbeck

    People forget that the U.S. is not a developing nation. It is much easier to build efficiently from the start than to make something old more efficient. Countries like China and Japan get their efficiency from the fact that all of their infrastructure is brand new. In the U.S., however, things have been aging for decades. Old technologies are often proven to be inefficient bad ideas by newer ones - but we don't have the cash to drive ourselves into a hole just to replace it all. Not to say that China has the money - but they only have half the work to do; there's nothing to replace.
    So, it's a lot more complicated than just saying "no more individual transportation, public only!" when there just isn't anywhere to put bullet trains and monorails. Even if there was, it would be so expensive that it would never get completed - the company doing the work would go out of business.

    Makes allot of sense. Things are getting better. I guess only time will tell if it gets better enough.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 5, 2008 2:32 PM
    Actually, I'm an American mechanic living in Chicago, and i will continue to drive my gas guzzling, environment harming Jeep until they make an engine with the reliability and torque of the AMC 4.0L, but the fuel usage of a honda (oh wait, they cant. the smaller you make an engine, the more you sacrifice in reliability on parts like crankshafts and connecting rods) I see you "fuel saving" cars come in to my shop every day with repairs costing nearly $5000 or up (and thats minus labor charges). You need to ask yourself if their is a point at which fixing this cheap, gas saving cars is more damaging to the earth through hurting the economy (you know the economy, the thing that determines how much money people can spend on converting to a green earth) more than just driving big reliable cars that get horrible gas mileage.

    Also, we cannot convert the United States over to public transportation only. Its not an economically sound idea. Lets take the city where I used to live, Kansas City. Because it is the second largest city in means of square mileage (thats right. in the United States Kansas City and its metropolitan areas has the second highest land area usage, following closely behind Jacksonville, FL), It is not a viable option for them to convert the city to public transportation only. That project would cost billions of dollars that the Kansas City area doesn't have. China also can not convert their cities to public transportation only, simply because of the amount of people they would have to move in order to do so.

    You Green loving people need to realize this:
    In the modern world, people need to be able to get things done cheap. and until our economy is like it was in 2006 and sustained for about 5 years, this world will not have the resources to convert to a green living. We don't have the money to spend on new, unreliable green products, and we don't have the money to spend on green products when they break. If Al Gore or any other tree hugging psycho wants to try and tell me that I can't drive what I want to because its not green but still will cost less to operate and maintain than their little fuel efficient cars, then fine he can say it all he wants. I'll keep driving what i find costs the least to maintain, and so far, thats my 98 jeep grand cherokee with the AMC 4.0L L6.
  • 0 Hide
    crosshares , July 6, 2008 5:00 AM
    lol, today I saw a WWF commercial with an actor going into this drama on save the polar bears, they can't live without your support!!!
    Please call this number to blah blah blah. Another scam, just like those children international commercials.

    The question is, are they REALLY doing anything, besides coming up with these BS scorecards. I want to see something happen, not some spinster telling me my emmissions grade is a C-.