Portugal climbs eight places in the Climate Change Performance Index

The Climate Change Performance Index 2021 is a comparative analysis of climate protection in 57 countries (plus the European Union)

Portugal climbed eight places compared to 2019 in the Climate Change Performance Index and was the third country with the highest rise in climate policies, behind Sweden and New Zealand, was released today.

The Climate Change Performance Index 2021 (“Climate Change Performance Index”, CCPI in the original acronym) is a comparative analysis of climate protection in 57 countries (plus the European Union), which represent 90% of global greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse gases, and is the responsibility of two international organizations, “Germanwatch” and “NewClimate Institute”.

In this year's list, released today, which does not reflect this year's data or the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic, the two organizations note that neither country is on a path compatible with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the climate agreement signed by virtually every country in the world in December 2015.

However, they point out that greenhouse gas emissions are decreasing in more than half of the countries analyzed. The European Union receives a “high” rating for climate protection, and within this there are seven countries that also stand out positively, one of them Portugal, with five others in the “very low” category, among which Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic). The United States is at the bottom of the list of countries, behind Saudi Arabia.

In the list (which leaves the first three places empty), led by Sweden, followed by the United Kingdom and Denmark, the European Union bloc rose from 22nd place last year to 16th this year, and Portugal is in 17th. rd place (which is in fact 14th because the first three places are not awarded).

Two years ago Portugal occupied the same position, but last year it had risen, partly due to drought, production of electricity in thermal power stations and fires, in 2017.

In the analysis of the Portuguese classification, the environmental association Zero, which is part of the International Climate Action Network (which cooperates in the publication of the Index), highlights the significant rise in Portugal, but warns that the per capita emissions of greenhouse gases “ are still on the increase ”, without a large increase in the use of renewable energy.

“The Climate Law, including a proposal to end subsidies for fossil fuels, as well as an emission reduction target of at least 55% for 2030 compared to 2005, which will be discussed and should be voted on during 2021 will to be a decisive instrument of climate action for Portugal ”, says the president of Zero, Francisco Ferreira in a statement.

In the document of international organizations, green tax measures in the areas of renewable energies and transport, energy efficiency policies in the industry sector and new legislation in the forest sector also stand out as positive in Portugal. Portugal is also highlighted by the positive regarding international relations, by the commitment to be neutral in greenhouse gas emissions in 2050.

In relation to Spain, in the general ranking of the Index, Portugal is 24 places above.

In the G20 group (19 largest economies in the world and the European Union), the United Kingdom, India (in 10th place) and the European Union block stand out positively, but there are more countries with very low ranking, such as Russia (place 52), South Korea (53), Australia (54), Canada (58), Saudi Arabia (60) and the United States (61).

The document also highlights the great decreases in the Index of Spain, Belgium or Greece, and the presence in the first 10 places of Morocco, Chile and India, three developing countries.

And the fact that none of the big economies like the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Australia, the ones that pollute the most, have useful climate policies in place to reduce carbon pollution.

When the Paris Agreement celebrates five years next Saturday, those responsible for the document point out that no country (not even Sweden, which leads the list) has compatible targets and that globally greenhouse gas emissions have even increased , although they have dropped in more than half of the countries analyzed.

This was the second consecutive year that the United States came in last.

The Index, published annually since 2005, assesses greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy, and is based on the latest statistics from the International Energy Agency for 2018 (last available year) and an expert assessment.

It intends to put political and social pressure on countries that have so far failed to take ambitious climate protection measures.