Countries ranked in CCPI
Australia, Japan and Korea at the bottom of the Climate Change Performance Index rankings
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Published: 8 December 2015
This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod
Denmark, the UK, Sweden, Belgium and France have all made the top 10 in 2016’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) – but Australia, Japan, Korea and Canada rank in the bottom six.
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‘No country’s doing enough’
The CCPI was designed to improve transparency in international climate politics. It evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries that are together responsible for more than 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.
As with previous years, the first three positions have been left free because, according to the CCPI’s authors, ‘no country is acting enough to prevent dangerous climate change’.
‘The CCPI ranking is qualified in relative terms rather than absolute terms. Therefore, even those countries with high rankings have no reason to sit back and relax. On the contrary, the results illustrate that even if all countries were as involved as the current front runners, efforts would not yet be sufficient to prevent dangerous climate change.’
Climate Change Performance Index 2016
For the 5th time, Denmark leads the CCPI ranking in 4th place. Effective climate protection policies for energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energies have already been implemented, making Denmark a role model in terms of climate protection.
Still Denmark has lost some ground when compared with last year; the distance to the UK and Sweden is closing and some commenters see Denmark, with its new government, at risk of losing the leading position.
Experts are concerned about recent developments: the questioning and cancellation of existing climate and energy targets and budget cuts for climate protection measures.
This year, the United Kingdom moved from 6th to 5th in the CCPI. Coming from a relatively low emissions level, the UK continues to expand its renewable energies – which has been rewarded with an improvement of three places in this category.
In November 2015, the government announced a nationwide coal phase-out with a settled deadline.
Sweden, last year’s 2nd winner, lost its ranking to the UK – but it still has a good position (6th) in the overall ranking. The country leads in the efficiency category and slightly improved its score in the ‘emissions level’ category.
Sweden has one of the highest shares of renewables in the European Union and is therefore rewarded with a placement in the upper range. Experts criticise the government for squandering the good results of the country’s previous efforts.
Just in time for its COP presidency, France climbed six places to arrive in the top 10 (position 8). The country has the lowest level of per-capita emissions in the G7 and also a decreasing emission trend.
Regarding the share of renewables, France is still below the global average but growth rates are positive.
Morocco, which already earned a relatively good ranking last year, improved one rank to position 10 to secure a top-10 placement. The country also submitted one of the few INDCs to receive a relatively good evaluation by experts.
The restrained announcement of increasing the share of renewable electricity capacity to 42% is already anchored in national legislation. Morocco holds 5th place in the policy category.
Due to the high share of lignite in the energy supply, Germany’s emissions score did not improve in comparison with last year and the country ranks 22nd.
Regarding the renewable sector, Germany still performs relatively well but other countries have begun to catch up. As an EU member state, Germany did not submit its own INDC but defined more ambitious domestic targets than those of the EU.
At the G7 meeting in June 2015, the German presidency pushed for a very ambitious climate agenda, which was acknowledged by national experts and improved Germany’s policy evaluation by seven places.
Chancellor Merkel also bilaterally played a constructive role in the preparation of Paris. Some days before Paris, environmental minister Hendricks opened the official debate to phase out coal in Germany until 2035 or 2040. The result of this debate will critically influence the future emission trends and ratings of Germany in the CCPI.
Indonesia gained two places compared with its position last year. Ranking 24th, it has fairly low energy-related emissions but a worsening emissions development. Improvements can be seen in the renewable and the efficiency scores.
Despite existing regulations to stop land conversion and a new law to move the permit authority from regional to national level, illegal deforestation continues and has increased drastically in recent months.
India climbed six places this year up to 25. The country performs second best in emissions level but ranks 59th in emissions development.
Regarding renewables and efficiency, India’s scores improved slightly. National experts value a shift of investments from coal to the renewables sector, including a massive expansion of solar energy.
India plans to use non-fossil fuel sources for 40% of installed power capacity by 2030 and so improved its score in the policy ranking.
Poland has climbed a remarkable 10 places up to rank 32 – but the country still remains in the ‘poor’ category.
It improved its scores due to the positive trend in energy efficiency and the relatively high speed of renewable energy development. Both trends were triggered by improvements in national climate policy.
Despite the improvements in this year’s ranking, Poland still blocks any increase in low-carbon ambition within the EU, shown by Poland’s weak international climate policy rank. Poland’s overall energy efficiency level and the development of road traffic emissions are particularly poor.
Ongoing US efforts on the national as well as the international level are reflected in this year’s CCPI score: in 34th place, the USA has moved up 12 places since last year.
Despite the US still being the second-largest CO2 emitter, recent positive developments – such as the rejected construction of a large oil-sands pipeline and efforts to push international climate negotiations – send positive signals, which will hopefully be reflected in future data.
National experts have already acknowledged these efforts: the US improved its policy evaluation by 23 places.
There is no change in Brazil’s ranking, which remains at 43. This means that the predicted boost this year due to new FAO data has not taken place; apart from policy evaluations, all sectors have worsened.
The policy ranking, however, reflects improvements in Brazil’s policies so we may see some positive changes in the coming years.
China climbed 3 positions to 47th place. Regarding its emissions development up to 2013, China dropped to the last position of the ranking. However, more recent data from 2014 and 2015 shows a decoupling of the country’s growth in energy demand from economic growth.
China’s coal consumption seems to have decreased by almost 6% in 2015. The policy evaluation shows a good result and there is an ongoing increase in renewables, which continues China’s upward trend in this category.
With little developments in any of the CCPI categories, Russia ranks 53rd and remains in the country group of very poor performers.
In the field of climate policy, the country lost five places and finds itself on rank 29, retaining its medium performance. CCPI country experts report on positive policy developments in terms of modernisation of the energy sector with a new instrument to introduce renewable energy.
Still, the experts highlight that renewable energy and energy efficiency policies still need to improve significantly. Russia, as a potential giant for decarbonisation, still hasn’t fully awakened to reap the benefits of low-carbon modernisation.
Canada has improved its performance by two places (position 56). While on the provincial level some effective initiatives have already taken place, over recent years no efforts are visible on the federal level.
The new government has already announced increased efforts regarding climate policies, meaning Canada climbed 12 places for its policy evaluation.
Korea lost 4 places and now ranks in 57th place. It remains one of the ‘very poor’ performers because CO2 emissions are high and steadily rising.
The share of renewables in the country’s energy supply is below 1%, but a strong positive trend can be seen and the country moved up five places in this category.
Japan dropped three places from rank 55 to 58, with worse scores this year in nearly every category of the Index.
National experts criticise the promotion of coal-fired power plants and the lack of an effective and binding emission trading scheme.
Australia (rank 59) has a slightly improved score regarding its efficiency level, policy evaluation and in the renewable sector. If the trend is permanent and continues in the next years, improvements can be expected regarding its emissions level and development, where scores haven’t changed much since the last CCPI ranking.
Even though the country managed to improve its policy score this year, experts highlight that a transition to a lower emission economy will require significant policy changes.
61: Saudi Arabia
There still is no change in Saudi Arabia’s climate policy: the kingdom relies heavily on hydrocarbon fossil fuels. Although renewable energies have been built up slowly over the past years, this has not yet had a significant effect on Saudi Arabia’s energy supply. As a result, the country remains in position 61, at the bottom of the ranking.
Click here to view the full rankings in the Climate Change Performance Index 2016 report.