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Methodology

In 2017 the methodology of the CCPI was revised, to fully incorporate the Paris Agreement, which marked a milestone in the international climate negotiations. For the first time, it is possible to measure states based on the promises that they themselves formulated in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). New and revised NDCs are expected by 2020. So far 184¹ Parties have ratified the Paris Agreement and have promised to combat dangerous climate change by limiting global temperature rise to well below 2°C or even to 1.5°C. 

The CCPI is monitoring the development of all GHG emissions of the 56 countries and the EU that are assessed in the index. The index now is even better suited to measure how well countries are on track to meet the global goals of the Paris Agreement. It does this not only by comparing countries by their development and current status in the three categories "GHG Emissions", "Renewable Energy" and "Energy Use", but also on the Paris-compatibility of their current status and future targets in each of these categories. With its globally unique policy section, the index also continues to evaluate countries' ambition and progress in the field of climate policy. 

The CCPI captures those promises and evaluates the countries' 2030 targets within the important categories – “GHG Emissions”, “Renewable Energy” and “Energy Use” – to determine if they are on track to a well below 2°C pathway. The CCPI also reflects countries' current performances towards this pathway in absolute terms, in addition to the relative indicators measuring the current level and past trends in all three categories. Around 40% of the evaluation is based on indicators of Emissions, 20% on Renewable Energies and 20% on Energy Use. The remaining 20% of the CCPI evaluation is based on national and international climate policy assessments by experts from the respective countries.  

The main methodological change is the addition of indicators measuring countries on their way to stay well below 2°C, as well as changes in the weighting and smaller modifications within the calculation method. The three categories “GHG Emissions”, “Renewable Energy” and “Energy Use” are each defined by four indicators (recent developments, current levels, 2°C compatibility of the current performance and an evaluation of the countries' 2030 targets in the respective categories). With these its current methodology, the CCPI covers the evaluation of the countries’ promises as well as their current progress in terms of climate protection. 

For the pathways, we set three ambitious targets that are essential to stay well below 2°C, which have to be reached until 2050: nearly zero GHG emissions (taking into account country-specific pathways, which give developing countries a bit more time to reach this goal), a share of 100% energy from renewable sources, and remaining at today’s global energy use per capita levels. The CCPI compares where countries actually are and where they need to be, to meet these ambitious and necessary benchmarks. Following a similar logic, the CCPI evaluates the countries’ own 2030 targets in comparing them to the same benchmarks.

¹As of 19 November 2018.

Still, more than half of the CCPI ranking indicators are qualified in relative terms (better–worse) rather than absolute. Therefore, even those countries with high rankings have no reason to sit back and relax. On the contrary, the results illustrate that even if all countries were as involved as the current front runners, efforts would not yet be sufficient to prevent dangerous climate change.