Most big countries have climate laws
It’s easy to get depressed about the lack of global progress in fighting climate change. But most large nations are at least taking some action.
GLOBE International, a London-based legislators’ group, surveyed climate- and energy-related laws and policies in 66 big countries, which together produce 88 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. It found that that 62 of the countries have a flagship climate law or regulation, 61 have laws promoting clean energy, and 54 have energy-efficiency laws. In all, there are 487 climate change–related laws or policies in the 66 countries — a sharp increase from decades past:
“Overall, we report substantive legislative progress [last year] in 8 of the 66 countries, which passed flagship legislation, and some positive advances in a further 19 countries,” the report notes.
But GLOBE International President John Gummer, a climate adviser to the U.K. government, warns that much more action is needed: “We should be clear that the legislative response thus far is not yet sufficient to limit emissions at a level that would cause only a 2 degree Celsius rise in global average temperature, the agreed goal of the international community.”
The following map shows which countries have the most climate-related laws and policies. The light green color of the U.S. indicates that it lags behind global leaders on tackling global warming. But at least it’s ahead of Canada.
- The GLOBE Climate Legislation Study, fourth edition , GLOBE International
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