The departing year 2021 was challenging for climate statesmanship. We witnessed several
important events where global leaders discussed vital issues and made new agreements to fight climate changes and preserve our planet. Worldwide, states are committing to reach net-zero by mid-century. Many countries set a great example of how we should all act in these crucial and worrying times. They made a significant impact on increasing progress in this field, and hopefully, this will be a trend that will spread all across the globe. However, it should be worrying that according to the CCPI – 2022 (Climate Changes Performance Index), no country performs well enough in all index categories to achieve an overall very high rating. Therefore, once again, the top three places in the overall ranking
remain empty. But, countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Morocco deserve praise.
Even though Denmark has a minimal carbon footprint, this Scandinavian country is still an
innovator in the environmental field. It is no secret that Denmark wants to be a trailblazer in the global fight against climate change. According to the words of Dan Jørgensen, the country’s minister for climate, energy, and utilities, Denmark wants to show the world that you can have a decarbonized economy that is wealthy and provides its people with a high quality of life. Since his appointment in 2019, Jørgensen has set a dynamic program for dealing with climate change.
Denmark declared to end oil and gas exploration by 2050, reinvesting those funds into retraining workers for jobs in greener technologies. Furthermore, the country announced the construction of an artificial island in the North Sea that would house an immense wind farm, supplying energy and energy storage for Denmark and other neighboring countries.
The whole planet should applaud this Scandinavian country for its efforts in the recycling field. Sweden is so good at recycling that it has to import garbage to keep the recycling plants going. In 2017, Sweden’s Riksdag decided by a prominent political majority to introduce a climate policy framework with a climate act for Sweden, which states that by 2045, Sweden will have zero net greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. By 2030, emissions from domestic transport will be reduced by at least 70 percent compared with 2010.
Norway has committed to at least a 40 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Furthermore, this country has pledged up to 3 billion NOK a year to help save the world’s tropical forests while improving the livelihoods of those who live off, in, and near the forests. It should also be highlighted that Norway is a member of Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform. Subsidy reform is important for cleaning up the air and freeing up public funds for development efforts.
The United Kingdom
The UK government has set a target to significantly reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a path to get there. This includes reducing emissions from the devolved administrations (Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), which currently account for about 20% of the UK’s emissions. Hitting the targets would require more electric cars, low-carbon heating, renewable electricity, and, for many, cutting down on meat and dairy. Homes will need to be much better insulated, and people will be encouraged to drive less and walk and cycle more.
Aviation is likely to become more expensive for frequent fliers. These are commitments set by the UK government.
The only non-European country that reached one of the top spots. The government of Morocco has a Plan Vert strategy to cope with climate change. In this plan, the government commits to producing over half of its energy by renewables by 2030, removing subsidies of fossil fuels, committing to green employment, focusing on ocean resource management, and preserving aquifers. Despite the country still relying primarily on fossil fuels, the report cites Morocco’s favorable conditions for wind, solar, and hydropower and the government’s commitment to tapping into those resources as part of the reason it ranks so highly.
As in previous years, the Climate Change Performance Index leaves the top three slots of its rankings blank with a footnote that reads – None of the countries achieved positions one to three. No government is doing enough to prevent dangerous climate change. There isn’t a better reason to try even harder. Make a difference today