How is the world performing in the battle against climate change? 

January 26, 2019

TEHRAN— Climate change has taken its toll on the environment worldwide and three years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, global climate action is not yet sufficient to limit global warming to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

According to the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2019 in the context of the newly released special report Global Warming of 1.5°C by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is ever more urgent to act now.

By showing the substantial difference in impacts between warming of 1.5°C and 2°C, the IPCC report states that limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in all sectors. Accordingly, global emissions must decrease by 45% by 2030 (as compared to 2010 levels). Global CO2 emissions need to decline by 2050.

For the past 14 years, CCPI has tracked countries’ efforts to combat climate change.

CCPI is an instrument designed to enhance transparency in international climate politics. Its aim is to put political and social pressure on those countries that have, until now, failed to take ambitious action on climate protection, and to highlight those countries with best practice climate policies.

The ranking results are defined by a country’s aggregated performance regarding 14 indicators within the four categories “GHG Emissions”, “Renewable Energy” and “Energy Use”, as well as on “Climate Policy”, in a globally unique policy section of the index.

40% of the evaluation is based on indicators of Emissions, 20% on Renewable Energies and 20% on Energy Use. The remaining 20% of the CCPI evaluation is based on national and international climate policy assessments by experts from the respective countries.

The index now is even better suited to measure how well countries are on track to meet the global goals of the Paris Agreement.

The CCPI 2019 results illustrate the main regional differences in climate protection and performance within the 56 evaluated countries and the EU. No country performed well enough to reach the ranking very good in this year’s index, meaning that no country has yet made it to one of the top three places in the rankings. 

Overall results of 2019 

No country performed well enough to reach the ranking very good in this year’s index, meaning that no country has yet made it to one of the top three places in the rankings.

In this year’s index, Sweden leads the ranking, followed by Morocco and Lithuania. The group of medium-performing countries includes countries like France, Mexico, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Among the low performers overall are Indonesia, Austria and New Zealand. The bottom five in this year’s CCPI are Saudi Arabia, the United States, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Korea and Chinese Taipei, scoring low or very low across almost all categories.

In this year’s index, Sweden leads the ranking, followed by Morocco and Lithuania. The group of medium-performing countries includes countries like France, Mexico, Germany and the Czech Republic. Among the low performers overall are Indonesia, Austria and New Zealand. 

Iran lagging behind

The bottom five in this year’s CCPI are Saudi Arabia, the United States, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Korea and Chinese Taipei respectively, scoring low or very low across almost all categories.

The report asserts that the Islamic Republic of Iran, ranking 59 in 2018, again ranks 58 in the bottom three of this year’s CCPI, performing low or very low in all index categories. National experts note that economic and trade sanctions imposed by the United States will not only have a dampening effect on Iran’s emissions levels in the next few years but will also slow down investments in renewable energy. 

Geopolitical tensions, which serve to push climate down the political agenda, are also reflected in the very low rating given for the country’s international policy performance.

MQ/MG

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