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The Climate Change Performance Index 2023

Greenhouse gas emissions have increased by more than 40% worldwide over the past 20 years

The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), an independent monitoring tool for tracking the climate protection performance of 59 countries and the EU covers 92% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The ranking scores in four categories: GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, Energy Use and Climate Policy.

This year's edition, CCPI-2023, provides data for the year 2021 and demonstrates in general that the energy sector contributes significantly to countries' greenhouse gas emissions.  Following a decline in 2020 due to the pandemic, there has been an upturn in 2021.  At the same time, successes with the introduction of renewable energy sources offer hope for an improvement in emissions reductions.

Once again, the top three places remain empty, with Denmark coming out on top in the CCPI rankings, as it did the previous year, followed by Sweden and Chile. The latter moved up three places, gaining a high and very high ranking in Renewable Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and Islamic Republic of Iran are the worst-performing countries.

Here are the main results in the 4 categories considered:

GHG Emissions: 
Energy-related CO2 emissions hit a record high in 2021, increasing by 6%, reversing the achievement in 2020, which saw a 5.2% drop in CO2 emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chile and Sweden are at the top; Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia are the worst-performing countries. Sweden is the strongest performer in the EU, although Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Malta and Germany also do well. Ireland and Poland are the only EU countries to have received very low levels.

Renewable Energy:
As economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, renewable energy capacity continues to grow at a rapid pace.  In 2021, 257 GW of renewable energy capacity was installed worldwide. Norway, Sweden and Denmark are leaders in this category, while Algeria, Iran and Russia are at the bottom.

Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, France, the Slovak Republic and Romania are the worst performing EU countries, but it should be noted that none of the EU countries performed very low.

Energy Use:
The post-pandemic rebound has also affected energy demand, which rose by 4% in 2021.  Colombia, Egypt and the Philippines, the three countries of the Global South, performed best in this category. Finland, Kazakhstan and Canada have failed to improve their performance since last year and are still at the bottom of the list. The EU ranks medium in this category, with Greece and Romania showing the best results.

Climate Policy:
Thanks to its national and international climate performance, Denmark, an EU country, leads the way in climate policy rankings. Due to policies promoting offshore wind, the Netherlands is the only other EU country with a high ranking. Eleven EU countries score low or very low, with Poland and Hungary the worst performers. Outside the EU, Morocco, India and Chile have performed relatively well in policy development. Hungary, Turkey, and Russia are the worst performers.