India among top 10; 2nd year in row with high climate performance

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New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) India remained in the top 10 for the second year in a row in this year’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2021, occupying rank 10, a report said on Monday.
It received high ratings in all CCPI categories, except renewable energy, where it had a medium performance.
Under the renewable energy category, India performed medium and high for its current shares of renewable energy and development of renewable energy supply in the last year, respectively.
Country experts attribute these positive developments to India’s policy frameworks. They recognised the need, however, for long-term planning.
CCPI, published by Germanwatch in cooperation with NewClimate Institute and Climate Action Network (CAN), results show a similar need, as India’s renewable energy uptake and targets scored low and medium, respectively, for their compatibility with a well-below two degrees Celsius trajectory.
Unlike China and its BRICS partner South Africa, India has yet to announce its long-term mitigation strategy. This strategy, experts’ advice, should include a post-Covid green recovery plan, including reducing fossil fuel subsidies, phasing out coal, better coordination frameworks between the central and state governments, and raising self-sufficiency by promoting domestic manufacturing in the renewables sector.
On India’s engagement in international climate diplomacy, some experts indicated the country’s reluctance to update its NDC, owing to fears of a lack of reciprocity from developed countries.
The CCPI 2021 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 analyses and compares climate protection across 57 countries (plus EU as a whole) with the highest emissions, which together account for 90 per cent of global emissions.
The current index analyses emissions before the coronavirus crisis and does not reflect emissions reduction during this unusual situation.
“The latest Climate Change Performance Index clearly shows that the EU stands at a crossroads,” said Jan Burck, one of the authors of the Index, published by his organization Germanwatch.
This report comes a few days before the EU summit on the climate targets for 2030 and the UN Climate Ambition Summit to mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on December 12.
“The EU can become a role model in climate protection with green recovery measures after the coronavirus crisis, by setting an ambitious climate target for 2030 in line with the 1.5 degrees Celsius-limit and a good implementation and further development of its Green Deal. But it can also stumble badly if it pursues greenwashing instead of green recovery and implements inadequate targets and instruments in the European Green Deal,” Burck added.
The G20 also presents a split picture. The UK (fifth), India (10th) and the EU score high on the index. The vast majority of G20 countries, however, are trailing in the rankings.
The US (61st), Saudi Arabia (60th), Canada (58th), Australia (54th), South Korea (53rd) and Russia (52nd) are all rated “very low”.
Once again, the performance of the US is disastrous: The final year under President Donald Trump is the second time in a row that the US is ranked last, below Saudi Arabia.
In all four categories except renewable energy (‘low’), the US ends up in the bottom of the table (‘very low’) and is the only country besides Australia and Algeria to receive the worst rating of ‘very low’ both in national and international climate policy.
The plans of US president-elect Joe Biden present great opportunities for this assessment to improve significantly but only if the promises from the election campaign are actually delivered.
Given the still unclear majority in the Senate, it is uncertain how much of this will be implemented.

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