How the Baltics are doing in the Climate Change Performance Index

June 2, 2021
Skyline of Riga from above
Photo from Piqsels
By Eko Diena in 

We all have pre-conceived ideas about what a sustainable and climate friendly country looks like, about the nations that must be doing well at fighting climate change and the places that definitely won't be.

The thing is that in a lot of cases, we are probably quite wrong.

There are a lot of different assessments of green credentials out there but one of the most reliable and well regarded is the annual Climate Change Performance Index, which ranks 58 countries according to 14 indicators, and taking a look at their report for 2021 throws up some interesting surprises in the rankings. While 58 countries might not sound like a huge percentage of the world, the nations included together account for almost 90% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The top three places in the report are left empty to symbolise the fact that no country has been found to really be doing enough to prevent climate and there are no winners here.

Coming it at fourth, fifth and sixth place are Sweden, the UK and Denmark. The Scandinavian countries might not come as a huge surprise, but the fact that the UK is in there, when, for example, Finland comes in at eleventh might be less expected by many people.

As the CCPI 2021 report says "Even if all countries were as committed as the current frontrunners, it would still not be enough to prevent dangerous climate change" and that even those countries at the top of the table have “no reason to ease up”.

Latvia does the best out of the Baltic States at 13th place (which is really 10th, don't forget), just two places above Lithuania in 15th.

Estonia on the other hand is way down in 38th, five places below China which it might be surprising to notice isn't down at the tail end of the ranking but firmly rooted in the middle.

Chart of CCPI rankings
Click the chart for a bigger version

The bottom of the table is made up of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and in absolute last place, the United States. It is probably fair to point out that this data was published at the end of the Trump era and we'd all like to hope that as the new Biden government swiftly reverses some of the anti-environment policies of the previous administration things should improve a lot.

You can find the whole Climate Change Performance Index list of country rankings, together with info about the ranking factors at the CCPI website.

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