Denmark takes big tumble on climate change index

Run on top of the Climate Change Performance Index comes to an end amidst changing climate policy

For three consecutive years, Denmark topped the Climate Change Performance Index, which ranks nations according to how much they do to combat climate change. But for 2017, that run has been ended.

According to the index – compiled by  Germanwatch, an independent German NGO, and Climate Action Network Europe (CANE), an association of climate NGOs – Denmark has been ranked only 13th among 58 countries rated according to their climate and energy policy.

“This year’s CCPI confirms that many EU countries – including the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Germany – risk losing their leading role in renewable energy development. Several EU member states cut back on investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, questioned agreed long-term mitigation targets or failed to set the necessary policy framework to deliver on their short-term goals,” said Wendel Trio, the head of CANE.

“Denmark, the index leader of the last four years, is already experiencing the consequences of its turnaround in climate policy with a dramatic drop in its ranking to 13th place this year. Emerging economies are catching up in the process of transitioning their energy systems, and EU countries have to raise ambitions if they want to maintain leading positions.”

READ MORE: Denmark still best at fighting climate change

Changing policy
Examples of Denmark’s turnaround in climate policy include such moves as reducing its CO2 emission reduction goals by 3 percent, reintroducing full registration tax for electric cars and repealing environment-friendly agriculture laws.

In actual fact, according to the index (here in English), Denmark is the tenth-best nation, as there are no nations judged good enough to be in the top three – as the index is based on ratings from ‘very good’ to ‘very poor’.

France was the top nation on the list followed by Sweden, the UK, Cyprus and Morocco, while Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Belgium and Denmark completed the top 10.

Other notables included India (20), Germany (29), Finland (31), South Africa (32), Norway (38), Iceland (39), Brazil (40), the US (43), China (48), Russia (53), Canada (55), Australia (57), Korea (58) and Japan (60).