Gee, but what about all those wind turbines???
(image courtesy of Windtoons)
From the Copenhagen Post Online:
FRIDAY, 29 JANUARY 2010 13:46 RC CLIMATE
Agricultural practices and high reliance on coal, oil and gas gives the country a poor environmental ranking
Denmark is ranked a modest 32nd in the ‘Environmental Performance Index 2010’, compiled by researchers from American Ivy League universities Yale and Columbia.
The index ranks 163 countries, measuring factors such as greenhouse gas emissions, protection of habitats for fauna and flora, general pollution, aquatic environments and sanitation.
Although many of the countries that are ranked ahead of Denmark are not industrialised, many others are, including its Scandinavian neighbours Sweden and Norway, which place fourth and fifth respectively. Another Nordic country, Iceland, tops the list as the most environmentally respectful country.
Christine Kim, one of the researchers behind the project, said Denmark wasn’t the pioneer it claimed to be when it came to the environment.
‘When it comes to greenhouse gases, Denmark is not much of an environmental leader,’ she said. ‘And it’s mainly due to the way the Danes use and produce energy.’
The report showed that Denmark’s reliance on coal, oil and natural gas offsets its use of wind power, where its 20 percent share of the overall energy produced is the world’s highest.
Coal is still responsible for half of the country’s energy production, and that results in a very high emission of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
The Liberal-Conservative government has stated that at some point the country will drop its reliance on coal, oil and gas, but has not said when that will happen.
Experts and environmental organisations have argued that Denmark has the ability to considerably raise its level of ambition for clean energy.
‘We have to renovate our homes, invest more in collective transport and put more money into renewable energy,’ said Christian Ege, president of The Ecological Council. ‘The past few years we’ve allowed our CO2 output to grow and grow.’
Ironically, the Environmental Performance Index ranked Denmark eighth in the category of ‘Outdoor Air Pollution’. But the country’s ranking of 67th in the ‘Sulphur Dioxide Emissions’ category – and a dreadful 136th with regard to nitrogen oxide emissions – dragged its overall pollution rating down.
Denmark also received relatively low marks for its Environmental burden of Disease, its Water Stress Index and for its efforts in Critical Habitat Protection.
‘Our agriculture is simply too laden with pesticides and nitrogen from the animals,’ said Ege. ‘And that means our nature is dominated by just a few species such as nettles, which can grow in that kind of harsh environment.’
Denmark’s other poor area, according to the study, is fishing, where the country ranked 112th – a figure primarily affected by the widespread use of trawl fishing.
But Eva Kjer Hansen, the Food and Agriculture Minister, called the study’s figures ‘biased’, saying the report clearly reflected its being done ‘at a desk thousands of kilometres away’.
To view the report and rankings click on: http://epi.yale.edu/
Copenhagen Post Online article ends!
From the Yale Report – Country Rankings – Click on the links to see country details:
The 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks 163 countries on 25 performance indicators tracked across ten policy categories covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators provide a gauge at a national government scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy goals. The EPI’s proximity-to-target methodology facilitates cross-country comparisons as well as analysis of how the global community is doing collectively on each particular policy issue.
27Antigua and Barbuda69.8
29Serbia and Montenegro69.4
61United States of America63.5
92Sao Tome and Principe57.3
98Bosnia and Herzegovina55.9
103Trinidad and Tobago54.2
106Dem. Rep. Congo51.6
117Libyan Arab Jamahiriya50.1
138Papua New Guinea44.3
152United Arab Emirates40.7
162Central African Republic33.3