The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

No Champions

The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI - Results 2015), released this week, is a sobering and disturbing read.  It analyses the performance of 581 of the world’s nations in terms of how they are doing with respect to climate change. 

The CCPI compares the climate protection performance of each country using indicators on: emissions, efficiency, renewable energy and policy.

What is disturbing about reading this report is that the authors felt unable to award first, second or third place to any nation, because “no country is doing enough to prevent dangerous climate change.” That’s worth repeating: “no country is doing enough to prevent dangerous climate change.” 

That is akin to no runner in the Olympic Marathon being awarded a gold, silver or bronze medal because none of them ran a sufficiently fast time to warrant it.

Disturbing indeed.  The report suggests that even if all nations of the world did as well as the top ranked nations the target of keeping global warming below a 2o C rise would fail.

Disturbing too is that the top 10 of the world’s largest CO2 emitters are responsible for approximately 2/3 of all emissions, with 7 of them being given a “poor” or “very poor” rating. 

The countries doing best (i.e. given a “good” rating) all hail from Europe, apart from one – Morocco.  Indeed, Morocco is given especial mention in the report as it has shown considerable improvement in its climate change response in recent years, and is an example of how a developing nation can contribute towards action on climate change.  The report cites Morocco’s renewable energy targets, it’s development of solar2 and wind projects, and it’s cuts to gas and fuel oil subsidies as worthy of mention.

Indeed, of the top 40 performing nations, only six are from outside of Europe: Morocco (9th), Mexico (18th), Indonesia (23rd), Egypt (24th), India (31st) and South Africa (37th).

Tellingly too is that of the G20 nations (arguably the richest nations on earth), seven of them lie in the bottom 10 placings:  Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Japan, Korea, Russian Federation, Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia.  The final two of these (Australia and Saudi Arabia) come in second-to-last and last place.

So, if the nations of the world aren’t up to scratch, and some of them are going backwards, what hope have we of remaining below the 2o C target?

That’s where we come in.  Us, the citizens of the world.  The common folk, those of us who do not sit around board tables or in the parliaments, congresses and senates of the world.

The way forward seems to be that change will only come from the ground-up, not from top-down.  And there are signs of that all around the world.  People and communities doing one of two things (often both): 1. protesting and blockading big oil and it’s associates and 2. undertaking local sustainable systems that prove that it is possible to live sustainably without the need to raise the temperature.

Neither of these actions are captured in the CCPI report and are certainly not mentioned in the “Key Results” area.  Yet, it is these local, community-led activities that will ultimately make the difference.  Perhaps the authors of CCPI will acknowledge this in a future report.

1. The 58 countries make up all bar those on the west coast of South America, most of Africa, and some Asian countries.  It does, however, include all the OECD, G20, ASEAN and EU countries along with a number of newly industrialised and “countries in transition.”  Altogether, these 58 countries account for more than 90% of global CO2 emissions.  This is the seventh publication of this report.  Jan Burck, Franziska Marten, Christoph Bals (authors), Climate Change Performance Index - Results 2015, Germanwatch/Climate Action Network (Europe), December 2014.
2. Morocco is constructing the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant in
Ouarzazate (500 MW).

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