With the Paris Agreement having recently come into force, the 2017 Climate Change Performance Index has confirmed that there has been an increase in renewable energy, as well as positive developments in becoming more energy efficient. And although these trends are encouraging and occurring on a global scale, what is actually required is still moving much too slow.
The key author of the CCPI comments, Jan Burck, explains that the global energy situation has truly never been better and that with lower costs of renewable energy and efficiency technologies, governments really have no reason not to take on the Paris Agreement as national law. Other than this renewable energy, there are also signs that fossil fuels are doing well. And up until now, although oil prices have been falling, it has not led to an increased demand. The CCPI sees a lack of true will to invest in global warming from many countries, however, at the same time, there are many that are quickly catching up.
Morocco, which has been ranked in 8th place, hosted COP 22 this year and only continues to grow in the 2017 CCPI. It has made enormous investments in renewable energy. Furthermore, they have highly ambitious targets, both short and long term, making themselves number one on this front in Africa.
Other positive trends have been seen in emerging economies of the G20, such as India, which has been ranked in the 20th place, as well as Argentina, ranked in 36th, and Brazil in 40th place. These three countries have all gone up in ranking in the 2017 CCPI.
France is ranked in 4th place, seriously benefiting from the unique diplomacy that led to the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2016. Sweden immediately follows in 5th place, and then the United Kingdom in 6th. Both countries have profited from promising climate change policies that were previously set out by former governments.
The 2017 CCPI has proven that many European countries, such as the UK, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany are at risk of losing their place on top of renewable energy development, due to cutting back on their investments. Emerging economies are rapidly catching up, and if EU states want to regain their position, they have to change gears.
Canada in 55th place, Australia in 57th and Japan in 60th are too close to the bottom. Australia has decreased its energy efficiency and has been scrutinized for very poor climate change policies. The world’s two largest emitters, the USA, ranked in 43rd place and China in 48th place are still rather poor in the CCPI ranking.
The first three countries in the CCPI rank are left blank at the moment because there is no country yet to invest enough to prevent climate change completely. Denmark would have been the first country to be apart of the top 3 in the ranking, however, with a recent change in climate policies, it did not make it into the top ranking.
Overall it is seen that a low carbon economy is occurring through a global transition. Although at the same time there are certain countries that fail to perform and are even moving in the opposite direction. Based on the Paris Agreement, all countries must take its goals as national policies.