Environmental Laboratory

Where Does the UK Rank in the Climate Change Performance Index?

Dec 16 2017 Read 1620 Times

The UK has ranked number eighth in the most recently published assessment of climate change performance across the globe. The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) assesses 56 nations (and the EU as a whole) in terms of their environmental practices to produce a list of the best (and worst) environmental countries on the planet.

How it all works

For the last 13 years, the CCPI has been monitoring the efforts of individual countries in curbing their contributions to climate change. In order to do this, it examines three objective criteria and one subjective one.

The three tangible criteria in the CCPI assessment are their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, their energy efficiency and the amount of renewable energy they produce as a percentage of the total. These three make up 80% of the overall CCPI rating. The final criterion uses a panel of 300 climate experts from all over the globe to assess the effectiveness of their government’s climate policy.

In this way, the CCPI is able to maintain a fairly comprehensive catalogue of all the efforts of countries from around the globe, assimilating the data into one, easy-to-read ranking. With each country having disparate aims and programmes in place, it’s an invaluable tool in determining how successful each individual nation has been in combating climate change.

UK in the top ten

Although 56 nations (plus the EU) were ranked in the CCPI, they have deliberately chosen a 60-strong leaderboard for the final results. This was done in order to leave the top three spots blank, as an indicator that none of the nations surveyed achieved a “very high” rating.

The UK were one of 15 countries to receive a “high” rating with a score of 66.79. This landed them eighth position (or fifth in terms of actual countries) and for comparison, Britain trails only Sweden (74.32), Lithuania (69.20), Morocco (68.22) and Norway (67.99).

One surprise inclusion in the “high” rated countries is India. Widely regarded as being home to some of the most polluted cities on the planet and with a booming industry, the growing market for continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) in developing countries has nonetheless prompted the India government to sit up and take notice. This awareness has been reflected in a raft of recent policies aimed at curbing their carbon footprint over the last year or so.

Bottom of the pile

At the other end of the scale, Saudi Arabia were the least environmentally-friendly nation with a “very low” score of just 11.20. That was quite a distance worse than their nearest counterparts Iran (23.05) and South Korea (25.01), though there was room for some shock inclusions at the bottom of the list, as well.

Both the United States’ and Australia’s dogged persistence with the ailing technology of coal means that they occupy 56th and 57th on the list respectively, more than 15 places behind the biggest emitter of GHGs on the planet, China. While it is currently responsible for around a third of carbon emissions worldwide, China has shown a willingness to clean up its act in recent times.

As well as pursuing innovative solar projects like those at Lufft (with five of the world’s six biggest photovoltaic companies in China), the country also has seven of the biggest 15 wind turbine manufacturers and closed four of the five largest renewable contracts in 2016.

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