Global emissions have reached a new peak, but recent developments indicate a new readiness for action on climate protection. This is the message of the 10th edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI); a ranking of the climate protection performance of the 58 highest emitters worldwide published by Germanwatch and CAN Europe at the UN Climate Conference in Lima.
"We see global trends, indicating promising shifts in some of the most relevant sectors for climate protection", says Jan Burck (Germanwatch), author of the Index. "The rise of emissions has slowed down, and renewables are rapidly growing due to declining costs and massive investments."
In some countries like Denmark (Rank 4), Sweden (Rank 5) and the United Kingdom (Rank 6) the result is decreasing emissions. On the other side of the globe China, the world's biggest emitter, shows improvements in the efficiency sector and massive investments in renewables. Most recent developments indicate China's decade long coal boom seems to be over, offering new hope for global climate protection.
"Data showing declining emission growth rates together with promising political signs, suggesting that we are able to stabilize global emissions. The Paris Climate Summit in 2015, where countries will make new commitments for climate action, could be a turning point in this respect" – adds Burck.
In Europe, the Index shows a mixed picture: "Many EU countries ranked high this year, but others, like Poland (Rank 40) and Bulgaria (Rank 41) scored poorly because of their opposition to further steps nationally and in the EU," explains Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe.
"Neither the current 2020 nor the new 2030 climate target are in line with the reductions needed by Europe to avert catastrophic climate change and achieve 100% renewables by 2050. To do this, Europe must meet its target to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020 against projections, phase out all fossil fuel subsidies immediately and agree on a fundamental reform of its Emissions Trading Scheme before the Paris Climate Summit”, Trio concludes.
One of the biggest winners in the new Index is Morocco. It jumped into the Top Ten because of its extraordinary renewables policy. With a very good international climate policy evaluation, Mexico also ranks among the Top 20.
In Canada (Rank 58) nothing has changed and nothing is going forward at the state level. For industrialised countries, this bad performance is only beaten by Australia (Rank 60), where the new conservative government reversed the climate policies previously in effect. In between these two, Kazakhstan (Rank 59) and at the very bottom Saudi Arabia (Rank 61) comprise the bottom four.
The Climate Change Performance Index is an instrument intended to enhance transparency in international climate politics produced annually by Germanwatch. Its aim is to encourage political and social pressure on those countries which have, up to now, have failed to take ambitious actions on climate protection as well as to highlight countries with best-practice climate policies. On the basis of standardised criteria, the index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries that are, together, responsible for more than 90 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions. 80 percent of the evaluation is based on objective indicators of emissions trend and emissions level. 20 percent of the index results are built upon national and international climate policy assessments by more than 200 experts from the respective countries.