Climate Change

COP28: India had fourth best ranking in climate performance among countries during 2022, says report

Preachers are not performing, underlined the report; US, UK sliding down in performance  

By Jayanta Basu
Published: Friday 08 December 2023
Photo: @Germanwatch / X

India has been ranked seventh in climate performance during 2022. But the country is effectively fourth as no one has occupied the first three ranks in the ‘very high’ performance category, showed an annual report published on the sidelines of the ongoing COP28 at Dubai on December 8. India showed an improvement of one spot over last year’s performance when it was ranked eighth.

Denmark retained the top spot with a score of 75.59 per cent. Estonia and the Philippines occupied the second and third ranks respectively, with 72.07 and 70.70. India followed closely with 70.25 per cent, shows the report Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2024, a copy of which is with this reporter. India’s score was 67.35 last year.

Most developed countries fared poorly compared to last year including the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy and others, showing the emergency of acting to counter climate change has yet not registered with them appropriately. Saudi Arabia was at the bottom — 67th — in the performance list, while the host country United Arab Emirates occupied the 65th position.

“CCPI countries must have an emissions peak by 2025 to keep the 1.5°C goal in reach. Moreover, emissions must be halved by 2030 (vs 2020) levels. Despite the urgent need to decarbonise all sectors, global greenhouse gases (GHG) have increased in 2022 and atmospheric CO2 is now 50 per cent higher than pre-industrial levels,” read the report.

Jan Burck, an expert with non-profit Germanwatch and a lead author of the report, told this reporter that there has hardly been any improvement in global performance over the earlier years compared to the duration and progress on reducing emissions. An analysis showed that of 64 countries assessed, 37 countries faltered compared to their performance last year. The positions of five countries remained unchanged.  

The CCPI, an annual report that has been prepared since 2005 with the involvement of nearly 450 climate and energy experts, assesses each country’s performance in four categories: Green House Gas Emissions with 40 per cent of the overall ranking, Renewable Energy with 20 per cent, Energy Use with 20 per cent and Climate Policy with 20 per cent.

The analysis also reports on the extent to which each country is taking actions in the areas of emissions, renewable energy and energy use in order to achieve the climate goals set in Paris.

During the day, India’s minister for environment, forest and climate change Bhupender Yadav claimed in a programme at COP28: “India is not only focused on progress at home, but also on steering global commitments to build a sustainable world for the present and generations to come.”

Population and policy 

“India’s high population, which automatically reduces its per capita energy use, plays a major role in giving it a high position in climate performance,” said an expert linked to the preparation of the report.

Of the four indices considered, India was ranked 9th in GHG Emissions and 10th in Energy Use among assessed countries; both being prompted by a low per capita benchmark. In Climate Policy too, India was ranked 10th among countries in the list. In Renewable Energy, India is ranked 37th, barely remaining within the ‘high’ performance category. India was 24th in this category in the preceding year’s assessment.

“India receives a high ranking in the GHG Emissions and Energy Use categories, but a medium in Climate Policy and Renewable Energy, as in the previous year. While India is the world’s most populous country, it has relatively low per capita emissions. Our data shows that in the per capita GHG category, the country is on track to meet a benchmark of well below 2°C. While it shows a slightly positive trend in the share of renewable energy, this trend is advancing too slowly,” read the report.

However, the report has put a finger on India’s coal use. It said: “(While) India is trying to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), with clear long-term policies in place that focus on promoting renewable energy (but) India’s growing energy needs are still being met by its heavy reliance on coal, along with oil and gas.”

It added: “This dependence is a major source of GHG emissions and causes severe air pollution, especially in the cities.” India is among the most air-polluted countries of the world.

Other members of the BASIC group of emerging economies have also done reasonably well in the assessment, besides India.

China retained the same position — 51st — compared to year back. Brazil improved 15 positions and South Africa slipped one position on the same benchmark.  

Among developed countries, Italy slipped 15 positions in ranking, United Kingdom and France nine positions, Japan eight positions and the United States has been pushed back five positions. Germany and the European Union improved marginally.  

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