The past decade, 2011-2020, was the warmest on record. Every decade since the 1980s, temperatures are increasing. Nearly all land areas are seeing more hot days and heat waves. Rising temperatures are causing heat-related illnesses and making outdoor activities more difficult. Destructive storms are becoming more intense and frequent in many areas. Climate change is impacting water availability, making it scarcer in more regions.
Fossil fuels account for more than 75% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Therefore, curbing fossil fuel extraction and production is a vital part of the solution. Countries must stop investing in fossil fuels and they must increase their investments in renewable energy.
The global average per capita greenhouse gas emissions (including land use, land-use change, and forestry – LULUCF) were 6.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in 2020. The United States remains at a higher level at 14 tCO2e, followed by 13 tCO2e in the Russian Federation, 9.7 tCO2e in China, about 7.5 tCO2e in Brazil and Indonesia, and 7.2 tCO2e in the European Union. India remains below the global average at 2.4 tCO2e.
Measuring Climate protection performance
There are various indexes which measures climate protection performance of countries. Some of them are Environmental Performance Index (EPI) and Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI).
EPI is a global sustainability ranking by Yale and Columbia University. CCPI is an independent monitoring tool for tracking countries' climate protection performance. Germanwatch in collaboration with Climate Action Network (CAN) and New Climate Institute (NCI) has developed the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI). It aims to enhance transparency in international climate policy and enables comparison of climate protection efforts and progress made by individual countries.
The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) is assessed in four categories:
a) GHG Emissions
b) Renewable Energy
c) Energy Use
d) Climate Policy
There are twelve indicators under category a, b and c and two indicators under category climate policy. The country performance index is based on scores (0-100). Zero is the worst while 100 is the best.
Based on the Index, the countries are given ratings. Below is the map showing the countries overall ratings on climate protection performance. Countries with very high rating are performing well and very low rating are performing worst. There is no country who is given very high rating. No country is doing enough to stop climate change. Under GHG category, Chile and Sweden are at the top receiving a very high rating. India scores well in the greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption categories, while a medium for Climate Policy and Renewable Energy.
After a sharp 5.2% drop in carbon emissions in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, energy-related carbon emissions rebounded in 2021, rising 6% to a record high. Countries covered by CCPI (59 and EU) account for more than 92% of all greenhouse gas emissions. The CCPI has decided to flag the 17 countries that are responsible for the majority of fossil fuel production.
Denmark is the highest ranked country in CCPI 2023, but it does not perform well enough to achieve an overall very high rating. Saudi Arabia and Iran ranked the lowest. India jumps 2 spots higher, and is now ranked 8th as per Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI, 2023).
Denmark has introduced binding Climate Act with a national goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% below 1990 levels by 2030. Today, about two-thirds of Denmark’s electricity comes from clean sources, and the city of Copenhagen aims to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital within the next three years.
India's climate friendly policies on rapid deployment of renewable energy and a strong framework for energy efficiency programs have had a significant impact. According to the CCPI report, India is on track to meet its emissions targets for 2030 (in line with the below 2°C scenario).
Countries such as Denmark, France and Costa Rica have introduced or scheduled moratoriums on fossil fuel exports, others such as Mexico and Saudi Arabia plan to increase their export capacity.
Countries have set their net zero targets and their target status is shown below in the map.
1. Germanwatch, New Climate Institute & Climate Action Network, CCPI Results, 2023