These countries are the best and the worst at battling climate change

Climate Change Performance Index 2022
How did your country rank?
The criteria
There are no winners
Denmark did it best
5th and 6th: Sweden and Norway
7th place: Great Britain
8th place: Morocco
9th place: Chile
10th place: India
11 through 20: several European countries
21th place: Egypt
The EU as a whole only made it to 22nd place
23th place: Philippines
Brazil slips from 25 to 33
New Zealand is 35th
China ranks 38th, ahead of the USA
South Africa is 39th
Ireland ranks 46th
At 55, the US is improving
Malaysia ranks 57th
Australia and Canada, all the way in back
Climate Change Performance Index 2022

The environmental organizations Germanwatch, New Climate Institute and Climate Action Network have published their annual reports, including their yearly Climate Change Performance Index.

How did your country rank?

The index compares the efforts of the countries with the largest CO2 emissions to reach the climate targets of Paris 2015. See for yourself if your country is among the top or bottom performers against climate change!

The criteria

For the ranking, the three NGOs compared greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energies, energy consumption and political decisions for future policies of the respective countries. Their conclusions are sobering, and some of them are surprising.

There are no winners

The first three places on the list remain empty! The authors of the ranking give this frightening reason for the three empty spots: "no country is actually on a 1.5-degree path yet."

Denmark did it best

The small kingdom made it to the victorious 4th place.

5th and 6th: Sweden and Norway

According to the experts, Scandinavian countries perform well in the ranking because they have started early with climate protection measures. Sweden, for example, has a relatively high energy consumption, but it is decarbonised. In the picture you see a Swedish train in Vastervik that is powered by biogas.

7th place: Great Britain

A high level of 'green energy' is also confirmed in the UK.

8th place: Morocco

The African country scores points with its construction of large solar power plants.

9th place: Chile

Chile has the same high position as last year, but the authors of the Index say that its per capita energy consumption leaves something to be desired.

10th place: India

The country benefits from its relatively low per capita emissions. However, these are rising steadily and endanger India's good position in the ranking.

Pictured: a cyclist in the smog of New Delhi.

11 through 20: several European countries

Germany has the 13th spot and is 'in the green,' the report states. Yet, the level of emissions in Germany remains high and the expansion of alternative energies is stalling. Above Germany are Lithuania and Malta, and numbers 14 to 20 are Finland, Switzerland, Portugal, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Ukraine.

21th place: Egypt

"The government encourages homeowners to invest in solar energy through small loans with low interest rates," the Index states. "There have also been government projects to replace older vehicles with newer ones that run on natural gas."

The EU as a whole only made it to 22nd place

Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic do particularly badly. But there is hope, because the Eastern European countries, which are heavily dependent on coal, announced at COP 26 that they would phase out this energy source within the next 15 years.

23th place: Philippines

The Filipino government does not strike the reporters of the Climate Change Performance Index as being overly ambitious in its targets. Of course, that does not reflect on all of its citizens - like this man in Manila, for example.

Brazil slips from 25 to 33

Here the political decisions are rated as 'very bad'.

In the picture: Protests for the preservation of the Amazon.

New Zealand is 35th

New Zealand drops seven spots compared to the previous year. It is now considered one of the 'low-performing countries.'

China ranks 38th, ahead of the USA

Last year, the Asian giant was 33rd. It fell a few spots because its greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption are criticized.

South Africa is 39th

Experts criticize the country's continuous reliance on coal due to "poor policy making."

Ireland ranks 46th

Ireland is considered a 'very low performer' when it comes to emissions, and it ranks low with regard to government plans for the future.

At 55, the US is improving

From 61st place in the previous year, the world's second largest emitter (after China) has moved to 55th place, and is right ahead of Russia. One reason for this is undoubtedly the first year under a Democratic president, Joe Biden.

Malaysia ranks 57th

Malaysia scores very low on all aspects of the index, and critics cite its reliance on fossil fuels, "the country’s main energy source," as its mayor problem.

(In the image: Putrajaya, Malaysia

Australia and Canada, all the way in back

Far back in the index is Australia, 58th, and Canada 61st. In the case of Australia, massive coal mining (pictured) for energy generation is an important negative factor. Canada also does very poorly in the renewable energy category.

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