Bonn/Berlin (25th Jan. 2021). Vulnerable people in developing countries suffer most from extreme weather events like storms, floods and heat waves, while the impacts of climate change are visible around the globe. Being the deadliest and costliest tropical cyclone in the South-West Indian Ocean, tropical Cyclone Idai was labelled “one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in the history of Africa” by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2021 published today paints a mixed picture of progress by the European Union (EU) on climate action. While the Scandinavian EU countries, Portugal and the EU as a whole rank high on the index with relatively good indicators, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic stand out as outliers on climate progress within the bloc. In the overall ranking, the EU has improved from the 22nd place last year to the 16th place this year, almost exclusively thanks to a much better rated climate policy. The CCPI analyzes and compares climate protection across 57 countries (plus EU as a whole) with the highest emissions, which together account for 90 percent of global emissions.
The EU Regulation on the responsible supply of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG) from conflict-affected and high-risk areas (CAHRA) is a crucial first step towards supply chains free from human rights abuse. The EU Regulation on the responsible supply of 3TG from conflict-affected and high-risk areas (CAHRA) was approved in 2017 and will enter into force in 2021. Before this date, the EU member states need to adopt measures to ensure the implementation of the Regulation. However, the first implementation measures being discussed by member states risk diluting the efficacy of the Regulation by concealing the list of companies subjected to it.
The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) presented today at the climate summit in Madrid reflects opposing trends in global climate action: Australia, Saudi Arabia and especially the USA give cause for great concern with their low to very low performance in emissions and renewable energy development as well as climate policy. With these three governments massively influenced by the coal and oil lobby, there are hardly any signs of serious climate policy in sight. On the other hand, global coal consumption is falling and the boom in renewable energy continues. In 31 of the 57 high emitting countries assessed, collectively responsible for 90 percent of emissions, falling emission trends are recorded.
Severe heat waves, drought and flooding: Extreme weather events are massive challenges especially for poor and vulnerable countries - but also high-income countries are threatened more and more by climate risks. The Global Climate Risk Index, published today by the environmental think tank Germanwatch, shows that in 2018 industrialized countries like Japan and Germany were hit hardest by heat waves and severe drought. The Philippines were hit by the most powerful typhoon recorded worldwide in 2018.
Carbon emissions from the world’s 20 biggest economies are rising. None of the G20 countries have plans that will put them on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C, despite the fact that most are technically capable and have economic incentives. To keep the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal within reach, G20 countries will have to increase their 2030 emission targets by 2020 and significantly scale up mitigation, adaptation and finance over the next decade.
Jan Burck, Germanwatch, one of the authors of Climate Change Performance Index 2019: „Our Climate Change Performance Index is based on standardized scientific criteria. The data for 12 of our 14 indicators is drawn from official statistics. Germanwatch and the NewClimate Institute in cooperation with national experts undertake the assessment. The criticism of Prime Minister Leo Varadkar falls short as he only refers to one out of the 14 CCPI indicators. Emissions in Ireland are still increasing if one looks at a five-years trend, no matter if 2016 or 2017 is taken into account as the latest data reference.”
After three consecutive years of stable CO2 emissions, emissions are rising again. The Climate Change Performance Index 2019 (CCPI), published today at COP24 in Katowice, shows only few countries have started to implement strategies to limit global warming well below 2 or even 1.5°C. While there is a continued growth and competitiveness of renewable energy, especially in countries that had low shares before, the CCPI shows a lack of political will of most governments to phase out fossil fuels with the necessary speed. Because of that, in most countries the climate policy evaluation by national experts is significantly lower than in the last years.