Press Release | 14 December 2009

Emerging economy front runner in climate policy for the first time

Climate Change Performance Index: Brazil knocks Sweden down a notch

[December 14, 2009 - Copenhagen] - The fifth Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) [1] – a worldwide national ranking of climate performance - was published today by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Europe's leading network for climate and energy issues. The annual report ranks countries based on which ones show the strongest climate protection performance relative to one another, comparing 57 industrialised countries and emerging economies [2]. This year’s index showed Brazil to be the biggest mover, knocking the usually strongest player Sweden farther down the scale.

“It’s great to see emerging economies like Brazil moving up the rankings, sending a clear signal during these negotiations that they are more and more committed to combating climate change,” said Matthias Duwe, Director of CAN Europe. “I only wish more EU countries were showing the same commitment to positive change.”

Author of the study Jan Burck from Germanwatch explained, “Because the CCPI represents a relative ranking, countries are ranked against one another as well as against the criteria of keeping temperature rise below the dangerous level of two degrees. Therefore, since no country is thus far adequately on the path toward halting dangerous climate change, the three top spots are empty once again this year”.

This year’s bottom-of-the-barrel finishers were Canada and Saudi Arabia. Because Canada's government delayed the announcement of any major new climate policies, it remained in second-to-last place for the second year in a row.

On the other hand, Brazil and the United Kingdom ranked high in this year's index after passing progressive domestic climate legislation. At the same time, while the US took a small step up the ladder, it remains in low position. Christoph Bals, Policy Director from Germanwatch, commented, "There are a number of climate policy proposals going through US congress at the moment but nothing yet on the books. A bill which really reduces emissions and a strong performance in Copenhagen would improve their ranking."

Media Contacts:

  • Jan Burck, Senior Advisor CCPI, Germanwatch, MOB: +49-177-888-9286,
  • Matthias Duwe, Director, Climate Action Network Europe, MOB: +32-494-525-762,
  • Christoph Bals, Political Director, Germanwatch, MOB: +49-174-327-5669,
  • Vanessa Bulkacz, Communications Manager, CAN-Europe;  MOB: +32 494 525 738
  • Larissa Neubauer, Press and PR Officer, Germanwatch: +49-151-252-11072,


[1] Climate Change Performance Index: Results 2010, Germanwatch and CAN Europe.

[2] Method and background: The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), which is published annually by Germanwatch and CAN-Europe, compares the climate protection performance of 57 industrialised countries and emerging economies, that together account for more than 90 per cent of global energy related CO2 emissions. Further details on methodology are available at

The Index is published for the fifth time this year in Copenhagen. It was updated using of the latest available data. The CCPI allows for a well-founded country comparison since it not only considers absolute emission figures provided by the International Energy Agency (IEA) but also puts significant weight on emissions trend derived from these data (30 per cent). Furthermore, it includes an assessment of climate policy (20 per cent) based on a survey among national climate experts, which complements the quantitative part of the index and provides a detailed evaluation of the individual countries' domestic and international climate policy.

Additional country experts are available for comments and questions as follows:

  • Canada: Matthew Bramley (Pembina Institute):
  • Finland: Leo Stranius (The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation):
  • Ireland: Pat Finegan (GRIAN):
  • Sweden: Svante Axelsson (SNF):
  • Switzerland: Dr. Patrick Hofstetter (WWF)
  • Ukraine: Irina Stavchuk (NGO working group on climate change):