The race for climate neutrality

Russia’s climate efforts are “insufficient” to prevent a global catastrophe - the authors of the Climate Change Efficiency Index ranking wrote. About 60 countries of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions do not take the measures necessary to prevent the climate crisis. Russia’s plans do not meet the goals of the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by 2030 by 50% from 1990 and do not promise to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

In the Climate Change Performance Index 2022) Germanwatch report, NewClimate Institute and CAN compare the climate efforts of countries that account for 90 percent of global emissions.

Scientists evaluate countries according to four indicators: CO2 emissions, the percentage of renewables in energy consumption, the rate of the energy transition, and the components of climate policy.

This year, as in previous years, the top three lines in the Index were empty, as no country, according to experts, has taken maximum measures to keep global warming within 1.5°C, the threshold of warming set by the Paris Agreement.

Renewable energy development, climate policies, and the phase-out of coal in many countries give reason to hope, but the pace of change is still “alarmingly slow” and falls short of what is needed to curb global climate change, the report concludes.

The leaders in the global fight for climate, according to the Climate Change Performance Index, are Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Morocco.

The Scandinavian countries rank fourth through sixth on the list of leaders and their success is attributed to “outstanding efforts in renewable energy”.

France, Luxembourg, and Germany have moved from the bottom to the green zone in the Index rankings, thanks to improvements in their performance on several dimensions. Nevertheless, Germanwatch contributor Jan Burke criticizes Germany and warns: “The country has set itself ambitious goals, but its policy has not yet answered the question of how to achieve these climate goals.”

The world’s largest issuer, China, has fallen four places to 37th place with an overall “low” ranking. Experts consider its biggest problems to be high emissions and very low energy efficiency. In both areas, the country’s goals for 2030 are also far from the goals set by the Paris Agreement. However, China has very good indicators in the sphere of renewable energy sources, even better than Germany.

Germanwatch experts note that Biden’s first year in office has had a positive impact on the performance of the United States. Last year in the ranking the U.S. was at the bottom of the list, but this year it has risen by six positions at once to 55th place.

Russia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Kazakhstan were once again at the bottom of the table - in the “red” zone. Overall, Russia has fallen four places down the climate change scorecard, to 56th place of 64 places.

According to experts, the country’s transition to renewable energy and the development of an effective climate strategy is the worst. Russia, together with Iran is marked by the worst rates of implementation of renewable energy sources.

The ranking notes that Russia is developing renewable energy projects, but not enough. According to 2019 data, “clean” sources accounted for only 2.7% of the country’s total energy consumption, and that includes large hydropower plants. In addition, coal is actively used in the country's energy sector, and, according to the Russian strategy, its share is supposed to be reduced by another fossil fuel - natural gas.

Analysts consider the Russian climate policy to be “clearly insufficient to prevent a global catastrophe”. At the same time, they do not expect positive changes in the near future. The researchers stated that the national goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2030 is incompatible with the Paris Agreement, which suggests a 50% reduction by that date.

The period for Russia to achieve carbon neutrality also does not comply with global commitments - the country planned to stop polluting the planet with greenhouse gases by 2060 instead of 2050 specified in the treaty.

In the Statement prepared for the Climate Summit in Glasgow by the Russian Socio-Ecological Union (RSoEU), representatives of non-governmental organizations, as well as Greenwatch experts, note that the steps taken by Russia are not enough to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Activists of civil society call for the adoption of a national goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, as well as for the creation of conditions to attract small and medium-sized businesses to projects for the development of renewable energy sources.


Written by Olga Podosenova
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