With growing social concern, backed by the scientific community, there is increasing pressure to address the effects of climate change globally. The economic viability of traditional energy sources such as fossil fuel has been called into question of late both for its environmental harm and it's long term ecological effects. Thus, it has become important to evaluate the performance of countries when it comes to tackling climate change issues. It is necessary to monitor such performances to understand what the future holds.
The Climate Change Performance Index
The CPPI, or The Climate Change Performance Index, is an independent resource used to monitor and track the climate protection and performance for countries around the world. The CPPI grades 57 countries, evaluating them with four key categories: their Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG), their renewable energy, their total energy use and their climate policy. 2020 is a pivotal year for climate change, as some vulnerable countries are already beginning to see the effects of climate change on their ecology and populations. The CPPI is a trusted and established independent source for quality information, although it should be noted that the ranks require data interpretation. The CPPI is calculated with production-based emissions, the current prevailing way to measure emissions, but not a flawless one. It is also true that the ranking system for countries is on a relatable scale, such as high, very high and low, very low. A ranking system such as this is inherently comparative, versus a more absolute ranking system, such as a statistically-based data set. Regardless, the CPPI remains an invaluable tool for tracking and ranking the initiatives of countries worldwide in the fight against drastic climate change. The CPPI was fully revised in 2015 to accommodate the Paris Agreement, a framework designed by the United Nations to combat the effects of climate change. Even with the simple guidelines and ranking system, no country has yet been able to place in the top three ranks.
The Best And The Worst
As sobering as it may sound, no country occupies the top three places for climate change action. This is because no country has performed well enough to in all four categories to rank in very high on the climate change index. For this reason, the top three performers rank only as high. The current top performers for 2020 are Sweden, Denmark and Morocco. Demark moved forward ten places in this single year, and Sweden has held the lead for two consecutive years.
Conversely, the bottom three performers are Chinese Taipei, which fell three places to rank 59th, Saudi Arabia, which continues to rank very low and, falling three positions since the previous year the United States now ranks very low. Canada and the USA are both currently sitting at a very low ranking in the categories of GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, and Energy Usage but deviate on Climate Policy, where Canada outranks the USA.
Performance Of The US And Canada
Canadas' total ranking is 55, putting it in the very low end of the scale across the CPPI categories, and is currently not on track to meet the -2 degrees Celsius target lines. Canada is ranked highly internationally, but there is a lack of cohesion between Canada's policies and the execution and implementation of those policies.
For the first time, The United States has ranked very low across all CPPI Categories. Research and industry experts point to recent social and political changes as causing the scoring. There is a problematic lack of connection on the USA's Climate action policies, as there is currently no target or policy for reducing the Countries' high GHG on a National level. The USA also faces additional challenges, as the country as a whole has a very poor public transit system, which creates more reliance on cars, which increases carbon emissions. Furthermore, the USA's industrial farming and forestry practices are unsustainable and ecologically destructive. These combinations of factors are just some, but not all, of the reasons the USA is currently trailing so low in the CPPI. The Trump Administration has removed The United States from the Paris Agreement, a decision that does not promote confidence in the USA's ability to be proactive about the global climate crisis. National experts have pointed to the Trump administration as a key player in the nation's reduced focus on climate action. While some areas of the states have met their targets for renewable energy and energy uses reductions, the enforcement of these targets varies widely across the USA.
At The Crossroads
The CPPI's 2020 ranking is a cause of concern. No country has sufficiently met the environmental targets to rank in the top three. The 2020 CPPI disclosed that, while it is clear that many countries are currently trailing in their targets, even a concerted effort across all countries may not be enough to provide long-term halting of climate change. While the outlook may look bleak, and true, there is substantial work left to be done to save our environment, the work the CPPI compiles acts as a milestone marker to humanity. The ranking order it reveals indicates where change is most urgently needed. The annual CPPI should be used as a motivating tool for the advancement and progression of environmental protection policies and active conversations about the best ways we can care for the planet we live on. The world is facing grave danger from climate change. The CPPI is one strongly researched resource that is crucial to understanding the full picture of our environmental impact on the Earth. The generation of humans on this planet today, and perhaps the next few generations ahead of us, are at a crossroads. We can use the data and research-based resources like the CPPI to galvanize a global effort to fight climate change, or we can ignore them, and await the consequences.