A comparison of the 58 top CO2 emitting nations
Recognizing the urgency to take immediate action in protecting the global climate, the 21st Conference of the Parties, held in December 2015 in Paris, made a groundbreaking achievement in adopting the goal to limit global warming to “well below” 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit warming to a 1.5°C. Under the Paris Agreement, climate action was anchored in the context of international law. This requires countries to make their own unique contribution to the prevention of dangerous climate change. The next crucial step to follow this agreement is the rapid implementation by the signing parties of concrete measures to make their individual contributions to the global goal. For the past 12 years, the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) has been keeping track of countries’ efforts in combating climate change. The varying initial positions, interests and strategies of the numerous countries make it difficult to distinguish their strengths and weaknesses and the CCPI has been an important tool in contributing to a clearer understanding of national and international climate policy.
To demonstrate existing measures more accurately and to encourage steps toward effective climate policy, the CCPI methodology was evaluated in 2012 and continues to be improved. The integration of emissions data from deforestation and forest degradation was one of the major steps in this process, made possible due to the data provided by the FAO Global Forest Resource Assessment 2015. Deforestation and forest degradation are another important source of anthropogenic CO2 alongside energy-based emissions. By including these emissions in the data, we are able to present a more comprehensive view of man-made impacts on the world’s climate.
The following publication is issued by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe. However, only with the help of around 280 energy and climate experts from all over the world are we able to include a review of each country’s national and international policies. The review charts the efforts that have been made to avoid climate change, and also evaluates the various countries’ current efforts regarding the implementation of the Paris Agreement, starting from this year. We greatly appreciate these experts for their time, efforts and knowledge in contributing to this publication. The experts are mainly representatives of NGOs who work within their respective countries, fighting for the implementation of the climate policy that we all so desperately need.