The world's top 10 countries for climate action are all in Europe

21 November 2013

LONDON: A new report ranking countries by their actions to tackle climate change reveals that the top performing countries are all in Europe.

The Climate Change Performance Index, written by GermanWatch and Climate Action Network Europe, ranks the world’s biggest emitters as well as the countries that are making the most progress on tackling climate change, by measuring emissions and reduction efforts, clean energy portfolios, climate policies and energy efficiency

While no countries made it into the official top three positions on the list due to a wider lack of ambition on keeping below a 2°C temperature rise, the subsequent top ten was dominated by European countries, led by Denmark, the UK and Portugal. Notably, Germany slipped out of the top ten, but Morocco made it into segment marked 'very good' for the first time. 

The top ten performing countries listed in the report are:

  • Denmark
  • United Kingdom
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Malta
  • France
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Iceland

The authors write that no single country is actually yet on track to stop runaway climate change, urging nations to make real progress at COP19 in Warsaw where the report was released.

Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe, said: "The latest UNEP Emissions Gap report also shows that current policies of all countries are insufficient to keep the world on a pathway to stay below 2°C. This should be a wake up call for all governments to begin speeding up emission reductions. The European Union and its Member States, though currently high up in the rankings, cannot relax and must increase their 2020 pledge whilst ensuring an ambitious post-2020 target is adopted. Such leadership could help the world to increase action despite the detrimental actions of Australia, Canada and Japan."

The European Union itself is also leading on climate action. This week it was announced that 20% of the EU’s budget for 2014-2020 will be spent on climate related projects and policies, tripling its current share to US$243.6 billion and marking a major step for Europe's low carbon leadership.

Read the Climate Change Performance Index

Related news:

EU to triple spending on climate and clean energy projects to $243.6 billion

COP19: Businesses and sub-national governments are making the real progress

COP19: Businesses and sub-national governments are making the real progress


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