There are many different measures used to tell how countries are doing in their progress towards dealing with climate change and reducing reliability on fossil fuels. One of the most widely used studies for progress on renewable energy is the Climate Change Performance Index or CCPI. So how did the UK do on this year’s study and which countries are doing the best?
In the CCPI, the top three places are currently left unfilled because in the opinion of the authors, no country has done enough to warrant it. But in fourth place on the list is Denmark, a position it has held for the last five years. The country already has strong renewables policies that have been implemented by the government, though there have been some backward steps in the last year with climate and energy targets being cancelled and budget cuts for measures designed to protect the climate.
The UK moved up from 6th to 5th in the 2016 report due to the improvements made in its renewable position. This improvement comes in part from a government scheme announced in November to have a nationwide phase-out of coal use within a settled deadline. However, this position could be in danger from a series of measures that may have a negative effect on renewables, including the 65% cut in the Feed-in-Tariff payment made to homes with solar power. Reductions in subsides for onshore wind turbines is another area that may have a negative effect.
Sweden is another country that has always rated highly in the report and leads the energy efficiency category. It has one of the highest percentages of energy from renewables in the European Union but has seen a fall in the report due to the ‘squandering of good results’ by the current government.
Morocco is in the top ten for the first time this year following its development of the Noor Complex, the world’s largest solar power plant that opened its first phase this month. Using the space and sun of the Sahara means that the power plant could eventually create enough energy for the entire North Africa, with some spare to export to Europe.
India’s place has increased by six spots this year to 25 in the world, mainly due to a focus on shifting from coal to renewables and a massive expansion of solar energy systems. The country has plans to increase non fossil fuels to 40% of installed capacity by 2030.
The US has made definite progress, moving up 12 places to 34 in the table but is still the second large CO2 emitted in the world. Its work to help with recent climate negotiations has also helped boost its position along with rejected construction projects such as a large oil-sands pipeline.
While the CCPI is just one way to measure how countries are changing their use of fossil fuels and embarking on renewables, it uses a range of criteria that show the positive, or negative, results of the real policies that governments around the world institute.