Portugal ranks second in EU on ambition to achieve climate goals
Portugal is way ahead of its European cousins in the ranking of ambitions and actual measures to comply with the Paris agreement on climate change.
According to the study presented by the European Climate Action Network, only Sweden fares better than Portugal on the list.
The worst performers identified by researchers were Ireland and Poland due to their positions on climate change both on a domestic and a global level.
According to researchers, the majority of European Union (EU) Member States “are failing to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement and Portugal is among the few countries that have called for more ambitious energy and climate targets and policies, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” according to the study presented by the European Climate Action Network (CAN-Europe). The report, ‘Off target: Ranking of EU countries’ ambition and progress in fighting climate change’, assesses both the role that Member States play in setting ambitious climate and energy targets and policies, and what progress they are making in reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency at home.
The report shows that no single EU country is performing sufficiently in both showing ambition and making progress in reducing carbon emissions. For this reason, the top position of the ranking is unoccupied.
The five EU countries that score the highest are Sweden (77 percent of the points), Portugal (66 percent), France (65 percent), the Netherlands (58 percent) and Luxembourg (56 percent), thanks to the fact that they are advocating more ambitious climate targets at EU level.
At the same time, it is clear they still have to do much more to reduce emissions and promote renewable energy and energy efficiency at home.
Aside from this group, a vast majority of Member States scores less than half of the possible points, which shows they are not progressing fast enough towards the Paris Agreement goals.
The ranking exposes Denmark (49 percent of the points), Germany (45 percent), the UK (37 percent) and Belgium (35 percent) for no longer being at the forefront in the fight against climate change and aiming rather low despite their relative wealth. Estonia (24 percent), Ireland (21 percent) and Poland (16 percent) rank lowest because of their stiff opposition to climate action nationally and in the EU.
Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe said:
Sweden, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg score highly because they recognise the importance of ensuring that EU climate policy is ‘Paris Agreement-proof’.
The lack of willingness to act on climate among all other Member States is underwhelming. While all EU countries signed up to the Paris Agreement, most are failing to work towards delivering on its objectives. Countries urgently need to improve their ranking by speaking out and acting in favour of more ambitious climate and energy policies and targets domestically and at EU-level.