The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) translates the performance of climate policies of 59 countries, in a list with 63 positions, but in which the first three are not occupied, as usual, because no country is fully aligned with the goal, out of the 2015 Paris Agreement, of keeping global warming below 1.5°C (degrees Celsius).
On the list, released on 14 November at the UN climate conference (COP27) being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Denmark comes first (in fourth place), followed by Sweden and then Chile.
The list has a colour system, with the countries in green being classified as having a high climate performance, then in yellow are those with a medium performance, in orange a low performance and in red a very low performance.
Portugal appears in the group of countries in green, in 14th position, after countries such as Morocco, India or Estonia, with a large increase, or Norway and the United Kingdom, which fell four places in relation to the previous index. Finland, Germany, Luxembourg and Malta come after Portugal and "close" the green list.
Yellow is the European Union as a bloc, Egypt, which is organising the COP27, Spain, with a rise of 11 places, Indonesia, Italy, France (which fell 11 places) and New Zealand, among others.
And on the orange list, also among others, Ireland, Brazil, Belgium, South Africa, Turkey and Argentina.
With the worst performance, in the red, are 14 countries, starting with Japan and with Iran in the last place of the list, which includes the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, China and the United States, besides others such as the Russian Federation, Australia, Canada and Saudi Arabia.
The progress in climate mitigation, and highlighting Portugal, were released on 14 November by the environmental association Zero, which participated in the CCPI, and which explains that for the calculations are used the most recent statistics of the International Energy Agency for the year 2020 (the last year available) and an expert assessment.
"The CCPI is an important tool to increase transparency in international climate policy and allows the comparison of climate protection efforts and progress made by each country," says the association, adding that the index also aims to put political and social pressure on countries that have not taken measures that contribute enough to global climate stability, while highlighting those with best practices.
In the analysis of Portugal's position, which rose two places thanks to the closure of coal-fired power stations in Pego and Sines, leading to an improvement in the category of greenhouse gas emissions, and the publication of the Framework Law on Climate, the poor performance in the transport, forestry and agriculture sectors is noted.
As for the categories of energy use, renewable energies, and climate policy the rating is average, taking into account especially the high share of renewable energies.
Zero notes the improvements achieved by Portugal, but also says that "there is a lack of ambition in some areas, particularly with regard to fossil fuel subsidies, whose end is only scheduled for 2030.
Additionally highlighting that, in transport, emissions are not contained, for lack of "effective policies for the sector", and has not sufficiently promoted sustainable agriculture, with intensive agriculture and monoculture receiving "many incentives".
In general terms, the highlight goes to countries like Chile, Morocco, and India, which have been rising in the index, and on the negative side the United States and China, which have fallen 13 places (the biggest drop) due to new investments in coal-fired power stations.
Zero also highlights the rise of three places of the European Union bloc, especially for the legislative package "Goal 55", which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
But it notes the differences between countries. Poland and Hungary are on the red list and Denmark and Sweden occupy the top positions (fourth and fifth place respectively).
The index, published annually since 2005, is the responsibility of the German non-governmental environmental organisation Germanwatch and the NewClimate Institute and evaluates four categories: greenhouse gas emissions (40% weight in the final classification), renewable energy, energy use and climate policy.
It is published jointly with the Climate Action Network International (CAN International). The countries that make up the index are collectively responsible for around 90% of global greenhouse gas emissions.