India's global rank up for reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Bonn: India is ranked 14th in this year's Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2018 out of 56 nations and the European Union by environmental organisation Germanwatch, an improvement from its 20th position last year, for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by opting to transform its electricity sector towards green technology.
China, with its high emissions and growing energy use over the past five years, still ranks 41st.
"The gap in mid and long-term ambition of the evaluated countries is still too high. In terms of GHG emissions, we see better 2030 targets in countries like Norway or India; comparably good targets for renewable energy, we see in, for example, Norway, Sweden or New Zealand," said Niklas Hohne from Germany's New Climate Institute and co-author of the CCPI.
"No country has a particularly outstanding energy efficiency target. Saudi Arabia and the United States generally have to drastically raise their 2030 ambitions," he said.
The nations aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent and increase energy efficiency and renewables by at least 27 per cent by 2030.
The report was made public on Wednesday on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change negotiations (COP23) in Bonn.
Fifty-six countries and the EU are together responsible for about 90 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the report, global energy transition is taking up speed but no country is doing enough. For this, the countries have to strengthen targets and implementation.
"We see a strong commitment to the global climate targets of the Paris Agreement in international climate diplomacy. The countries now have to deliver specific measures breaking down their commitments to a sectoral level," Jan Burck, co-author of the CCPI at Germanwatch, said.
Foreseeing positive developments on opting renewables and energy efficiency, co-author Stephan Singer from the Beirut-based Climate Action Network said: "The data show encouraging growth in renewable energy, ever cheaper prices for solar and wind energy and successes in saving energy in many countries. This was responsible for stabilising global energy CO2 emissions in the last three years."
"But progress is achieved much too slow for a fully renewable energy based world economy in a few decades, because growing oil and gas consumption is higher than the welcomed reduction in coal use."
The top three rankings are still unoccupied as the report says no country is on a Paris-compatible path yet that aims to keep the average global temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celcius.
About one degree of that rise has already happened, underlining the urgency to progress further and faster to cut the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, climate experts say.
Sweden ranks fourth in this year's CCPI, following the empty top three.
Relatively low emission levels and a very high trend in renewable energy see Lithuania ranked fifth.
Germany, the co-host country for Fiji's COP23 Presidency, lands in the midfield of the CCPI 2018 at 22.
The country has put a lot of effort into international climate diplomacy and globally committing to climate action.
"Germany's mid and long-term targets are relatively strong but the last government failed on delivering concrete measures to effectively reduce emissions domestically," Burck added.
After withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Agreement and dismantling major climate legislation of the previous government, the US finds itself in the bottom five of the ranking at 56.
The bottom three of the index is formed by Korea (58), Iran (59) and Saudi Arabia (rank 60), all of which are showing hardly any progress or ambition in reducing its emissions and energy use.
Two years after the world united around the Paris Agreement and a year after its entry into force, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's (UNFCCC) 197 parties have reconvened for the 23rd annual climate change talks in Bonn till November 17.
The talks, which began on November 6, are expected to take a number of decisions necessary to bring the Paris Agreement to life, including meaningful progress on the agreement implementation guidelines, to achieve a goal to cut greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.