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. Global warming: Sweden cleanest, SArabia dirtiest, says index

Green energy in Sweden.
by Staff Writers
Poznan, Poland (AFP) Dec 10, 2008
Sweden does the most of any country for tackling emissions of greenhouse gases, while Saudi Arabia does the least, according to a barometer published on Wednesday by watchdogs at the UN climate talks here.

But the annual "Climate Change Performance Index" placed Sweden only fourth on its list, for no prizes were allotted for the top three places.

"Not a single country is to be judged as satisfactory with regard to protecting the climate," the NGOs Germanwatch and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said.

No country had shown willingness "to engage themselves more strongly" to avoid dangerous climate change, they explained.

The groups categorised dangerous climate change as an increase in temperature beyond two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels.

Sweden's fourth place was followed by Germany, France, India, Brazil, Britain and Denmark.

The bottom 10 were listed in descending order as Greece, Malaysia, Cyprus, Russia, Australia, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, the United States, Canada and Saudi Arabia.

The Climate Change Performance Index compares 57 states that together emit more than 90 percent of the world's annual output of carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal greenhouse gas.

The benchmark is derived from 12 national indicators, based on the emissions level, emissions trend and climate policy.

In last year's index, the top three places were awarded to Sweden, Germany and Iceland and the bottom three to Australia, the United States and Saudi Arabia.

The 2 C (3.6 F) warming target is embraced by the European Union (EU) as well as many green groups. Scientists are generally circumspect, saying there is no guarantee that achieving this figure will avoid inflicting bad damage to Earth's fragile climate system.

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Chlorine leak at Siberian chemical factory: report
Moscow (AFP) Dec 4, 2008
About 30 kilograms of chlorine have leaked at a chemical factory in the Siberian region of Irkutsk but there were no immediate reports of casualties, Russia's Interfax news agency said Thursday.

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