As our contributor in Copenhagen, Stephen Minas, suggests in his latest dispatch from the climate change conference, there’s still an awful lot to do if any kind of deal is to be reached.
Meanwhile, though, Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe have just released their latest Change Change Performance Index. And the figures should make for some sobering reading for Asia’s policymakers.
The two groups rated 57 leading greenhouse gas emitters and placed them in one of five categories, ranging from ‘very good’ to ‘very poor’. Coming in a distant last place was Saudi Arabia, though the very poor category also included (in ascending order) Kazakhstan, Australia, New Zealand, China and Malaysia. The poor category, meanwhile, included Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore. India was the only Asian country to make it into the ‘very good’ category.
On a related note, there’s an interesting piece in the New York Times today about China’s shift toward nuclear energy as it seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But, unsurprisingly, the rapid proliferation of nuclear power stations is raising concerns about quality control:
‘Yet inside and outside the country, the speed of the construction program has raised safety concerns. China has asked for international help in training a force of nuclear inspectors.
‘The last country to carry out such a rapid nuclear expansion was the United States in the 1970s, in a binge of reactor construction that ended with the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979. And China is placing many of its nuclear plants near large cities, potentially exposing tens of millions of people to radiation in the event of an accident.’