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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