Despite India’s medium performance in the RE category, the country has included renewables targets in its updated NDC.

India rises two spots to rank 8th in this year’s Climate Change Performance Index

It is among the high performing countries in the index, preceded by Denmark, Sweden, Chile, and Morocco, while the first three positions for “very high” performance remained empty

India ranked eighth at the annual climate change performance index, jumping two positions since last year. Released by Germanwatch, NewClimate Institute and Climate Action Network, the Climate Change Performance Index 2023 (CCPI),  evaluated and compared the climate protection performance of 59 countries and of the European Union (EU), which together are responsible for more than 90% of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

The CCPI assessed countries’ performance in four categories: GHG emissions, renewable energy, energy use, and climate policy. India earned a high rating in the GHG emissions and energy use categories, and a medium one for climate policy and renewable energy. The index said that the country is on track to meet its 2030 emissions targets, compatible with a well-below-2°C scenario. However, the renewable energy pathway is not on track for the 2030 target. 

India’s need for concrete roadmaps and action plans

Since the last CCPI, India has updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and announced a net-zero target for 2070.  Despite India’s medium performance in the RE category, the country has included renewables targets in its updated NDC. Yet, according to the report, experts cited missing roadmaps and concrete action plans for achieving the targets. The experts stressed the importance of a just and inclusive energy transition, as well as the need for decentralised renewable energy and capacities for rooftop photovoltaics. A carbon pricing mechanism, the need for more capacities at the subnational level, and concrete action plans for achieving the targets are key demands. India is among the nine countries responsible for 90% of global coal production. It also plans to increase its oil, gas, and oil production by over 5% by 2030, which is incompatible with the 1.5°C target.

Awaiting the “very high” performers

No country was strong enough in all index categories to achieve an overall very high rating. Therefore, once again, the top three places remain empty,  like the previous year. Denmark is again the top-ranked country, as in the previous year’s CCPI, but it did not perform well enough to achieve an overall very high rating.

Varied performance of G20 members 

With India (8th), the United Kingdom (11th), and Germany (16th), only three G20 countries are among the high performers in CCPI 2023. Twelve G20 countries received an overall low or very low rating. The report said that the G20 has a particular responsibility in climate mitigation, as its members emit more than 75% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Canada, Russia, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia were the G20’s worst-performing countries as per the assessment. 

EU: Spain climbed up, France dropped

Overall, the EU rose three spots from the previous year, to 19th, and just barely missed high classification. Nine EU countries ranked as high and medium performers, with Denmark (4th) and Sweden (5th) leading the overall CCPI ranking. The assessment found that Spain improved its performance in all four CCPI categories, vaulting it 11 spots to 23rd, although still performing at a medium level. France, in contrast, dropped 11 ranks to 28th, mainly due to its poorer placement in the climate policy category compared with the previous year. Hungary (53rd) and Poland (54th), the remaining EU countries, received a very low rating. 

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