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Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2019 – Sweden leads the ranking

Since 2005, the international Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) annually evaluates the environmental protection performance of countries and how they are dealing with global climate change. The developers of the index are the German independent organizations Germanwatch and the New Climate Institute in cooperation with the Climate Action Network, which unites more than 1,300 environmental NGOs from 120 countries around the world.

CCPI-2019 covers 56 countries and, starting from last year, reflects the climate policy of the European Union as one unit, which are together responsible for approximately 90% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. Traditionally, the rating evaluates the performance countries within 14 indicators in four categories
“GHG Emissions”, “Renewable Energy”, “Energy Use”, and “Climate Policy”.  40% of the total score is based on indicators of GHG emissions; the remaining 60% is  divided equally among the three other categories. CCPI-2019 focuses on assessing the measures taken by countries to achieve the 2030 targets.  New, more accurate, criteria were added to evaluate the achievements in keeping the average temperature increase on the planet invariably within less than2°c. Depending on the number of points scored, the rating includes 5 groups - countries with very high, high, medium, low and very low performance.

In general, the developers of the CCPI-2019 index have noted a renewed rise in greenhouse gas emissions after three consecutive years of stable CO2 emissions. According to the researchers, none of the countries made enough effort to counter global climate change, so the first three positions in the CCPI-2019 ranking, which represent a group with very high performance, traditionally remained empty.

Starting from the fourth position, in the group of countries with high performance, the three most environmentally-friendly countries remained the same - Sweden managed to retain the lead with 76.2 points; Morocco (70.5), thanks to the widespread introduction of renewable sources, took second place displacing Lithuania (70.4) into third position. Latvia (68.3), Great Britain (65.9), Switzerland (65.4) and Malta (65.1) again entered the group of countries with high performance. They are followed by India (62.9), which, as a result of the rapid development of renewable energy sources and ambitious plans of the Indian government up to 2030, managed to improve its achievements by 3 positions over the year. The European Union (60.6) also improved its results compared to the previous edition and moved from the medium to the high performance group. This was due to the achievements in Climate Policy, although in all other categories the EU’s performance is rated as medium. The only EU member state that is in the last very low performance group remains Ireland (40.8), which does not take any significant legislative measures to tackle global warming.

The group with medium performance includes such countries as Ukraine (60.1), Romania (59.4), France (59.3), Brazil (59.2), Mexico (56.8) etc. Among other countries participating in this rating, China’s success (49.6) should be noted, which rose from 41 to 33 position, making it into the group of countries with medium performance for the first time and taking the last place in it. This happened mainly due to the positive trend in the field of greenhouse gas, the level of emissions of which did not increase in China from 2014 to 2016. Following China, Argentina (49.1) already in the group with low performance, moved up 12 positions and received relatively high rating points in the category of national climate policy.

Among the negative trends, researchers report a continuation of the decline in the German rating, which began last year. The main reason for this is the unsatisfactory performance of the country in the category of emissions, the volume of which has not decreased since 2009. A negative trend has also established itself for the United States (18.8), which, after leaving the Paris Agreement, continues to rapidly decline in the rankings, being in penultimate position this year. Among the outsiders this year, as in the previous year, are Japan (40.6), Turkey (40.2), Russia (37.5), Canada (34.2) and Iran (23.9). As always, at the very end of the ranking we find Saudi Arabia (8.8), whose government persistently does not take any measures to reduce GHG emissions.