Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe (CAN-E) on Monday released the sixth annual Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), a joint research project, at the on-going 16 Conference of Parties (COP 16) in Cancun.
The CCPI 2011 evaluates and ranks the 57 highest-emitting countries based on their emissions and climate policies.
This year, more than 190 experts from the respective countries have assisted in creation of the index by analysing national policies.
The report was compiled using the latest available data up to 2008 and it also allows for a well-founded country comparison, since it not only considers absolute emission figures provided by the International Energy Agency but also puts significant weight on emissions trend derived from the data (30 per cent).
Mr Jan Burck, Senior Adviser of CCPI at Germanwatch who christened the index said this year’s Index ranks Brazil, Sweden and Norway fourth to sixth respectively, followed by Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Australia, and Canada, which ranked last.
“It is good to see Brazil hanging on to the ‘top’ spot (4th) this year, as last year it was the first developing country to have this honour,” he said.
He noted that CCPI 2011 again demonstrated that no country deserved to be placed in the top three spots, which were reserved for nations that were doing enough to stay below the goal of a 1.5 degree average global warming limit.
The index indicated that the world’s two biggest emitters, China and the USA, have dropped a few ranks compared to last year, with China now ranked 56th and the USA 54th.
Mr Mathew Duwe, Director at Climate Action Network (CAN Europe), who commented on the report said China had recently started improving its national climate policies, including legislation on renewable energy, which had made it the world leader in wind energy investments.
He said: “This represents a trend toward strong national climate policy that we have seen throughout the CCPI this year. Since emissions are weighted heavier in the index than policy, however, China’s ranking was still lowered from last year’s based on its overall emissions trends.
“But the visible improvement of China’s national climate policy will hopefully lower its emissions trend in the future and rise its ranking accordingly.”
Mr Duwe said the report revealed that a clear exception to 2011’s trend toward strong national climate policy was the USA, where the Senate’s blockage of climate legislation resulted in a lower ranking.
“The US shows a very poor performance concerning per capita emissions and climate policy. The Obama Administration will now have to utilize existing clean air laws to regulate emissions and reverse the USA’s downward trend in this index,” he said.
With more than 140 members in 25 European Countries, CAN Europe is Europe’s largest coalition of non-governmental organisations working to stop the most dangerous effects of climate change.
It is the European node of CAN International, a global coalition representing millions of citizens worldwide united in the fight against climate change.