High Emissions – Low Ambitions

Olga Senova

More than 230 experts from various countries took part in the preparation of the Climate Change Performance rating, including experts of RSEU Climate Secretariat.

The eighth annual Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), which was published at the Doha climate talks 3rd of December by Germanwatch and the Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, ranks the climate protection performance of the 58 highest emitters worldwide, using such criteria as a total country emission and development of emission, general climate policy, policy measures for supporting renewable energy, and energy efficiency. For the first time, the index used deforestation data, which resulted in a rankings drop of countries with high forest emissions such as Brazil and Indonesia.

Germanwatch press-release on Climate Change Performance Index said, that once again, no country made it into the first three spots on the list due to a lack of ambition to reach the goal of keeping global warming below 2 degree Celsius.

"With Denmark, Sweden and Portugal on top, it is not a black and white picture we see here. While Denmark and Sweden show better policy ratings and relatively low emissions, Portugal’s high rank is mainly derived from lower emissions due to the economic crisis. But the EU as a whole presents a mixed picture here, with the Netherlands and Poland ranking below average", says Jan Burck, Team Leader for German and European Climate Policy at Germanwatch. "Also, the emission trends in some countries benefitted from the economic crisis entailing a decrease of emissions for a short time. But there is no time to lean back."

Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe, adds: "As long as the European Union stalls on raising its own climate target to minus 30 percent by 2020, the positions of EU countries as frontrunners are at stake. Having met their Kyoto targets already, a move to a more ambitious target would send a strong signal for the Doha negotiations as well."

The two biggest emitters, the US and China, are still ranking comparably low. "The United States climbed up in this year's Index, but partly due to decreased emissions through the economic crisis and the massive exploration of shale gas. The indirect emissions of shale gas are not taken into account in this Index, as only energy and forest emissions are included. With a shift towards renewables and more efficiency, the US could climb up even more. China's emissions level has risen, but as the massive investments in renewable energies are expected to show an effect shortly, its emissions trend could slow down in the near future and lead to better results", Jan Burck adds.

Russia is on the third place form the end in the rating according to the Climate Change Performance Index, dropping one position from last year. Despite the positive steps on energy efficiency (Federal Law, State program on energy efficiency and energy saving) Russia keep the priority for fossil fuel related industry and energy generation sector. Share of renewable energy doesn’t grow, there os a luck of state support measures for renewables.

Today mass media spread information about the draft document of Ministry of Nature Resources which states a national target for CO2 emission reduction on 15-25 % by 2020 (http://ria.ru/science/20121204/913358795.html). This is a setback even form the last year, when officials said about 20-25 % reduction.

4 of December the “High segment” of the international climate talks has started in Doha with participation of national leaders and ministers. Only three days for COP-18 negotiations left. Is it a chance for Russia to show constructive approach, and take responsibility for sufficient reduction of country’ contribution to the global carbon reduction?

The Climate Change Performance Index 2013 can be found at www.germanwatch.org/en/ccpi