Climate Change Performance Index 2021: EU improves as a whole, but some member states still lag behind
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Climate Change Performance Index 2021: EU improves as a whole, but some member states still lag behind

According to the Climate Change Performance Index 2021 (CCPI), published today, the EU won six ranks from last year, but the index paints a mixed picture of progress on climate action within the EU.

The CCPI, which is published by Germanwatch, NewClimate Institute and Climate Action Network (CAN) International, evaluates the efforts of 57 countries and the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy and limit energy use. The report is an important tool to provide a comparison of the climate performance of countries which are together responsible for 90% of global emissions.

The EU as a whole ranks 16th, from 22nd last year, winning six places compared to last year, almost exclusively thanks to a much better rated climate policy: its Green Deal to achieve the 2050 climate neutrality goal adopted last year, and its commitment to substantially increase its emissions reductions efforts in the next decade.

Within the bloc, however, the index shows a mixed picture. While the Scandinavian EU countries and Portugal rank high on the index with relatively good indicators, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic stand out as outliers on climate progress.

Commenting on the CCPI results for the EU, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:
“To increase the EU’s ranking and for the bloc to regain its leadership role, the EU must substantially increase its 2030 climate target at this week’s European Council. It must also ensure no EU country is left behind in the transition. For this the EU budget and recovery will provide unprecedented financial support for scaling up the green transition across Europe. And particularly to Europe’s coal most-reliant countries, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe.”

EU Member States who rank under “high performers” include Sweden (rank 4), Denmark (rank 6), Finland (rank 11), Malta (rank 12), Latvia (rank 13), Lithuania (rank 15), and Portugal (17) [1]. Compared to last year, Portugal is the biggest climber from 25th to 17th place, essentially due to its ambitious climate policy.

Slovenia and Hungary supersede Poland and become the worst performing EU Member States due to their increase of greenhouse gas emissions, low level of investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency and lack of national climate policy.


Nicolas Derobert, Head of communications,, +32 483 62 18 88

Notes to editors
[1] In the ranking, the first three places on the ranking are kept empty due to the fact that no country at this moment is on track to contribute to a 1.5°C pathway.

The Climate Change Performance Index by Germanwatch and the NewClimate Institute published together with Climate Action Network (CAN) International is a ranking of the 57 countries and the EU, together responsible for about 90% of global GHG emissions. For the first time, the report covers Chile as the country hosts the international climate negotiations.

The four categories examined by national and international experts are: GHG emissions (40%), renewable energy (20%), energy use (20%) and climate policy (20%). While the report highly relies on the quantitative data produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA), PRIMAP, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the national GHG inventories submitted to the UNFCCC; climate policy section is based on expert assessments by NGOs and think tanks from the respective countries. The CCPI also evaluates to what extent the respective countries are taking adequate action within the categories emissions, renewables and energy use to be on track towards the global Paris-goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

CAN Europe supports the publication and can comment on the assessment of the performance of European countries.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 170 member organisations active in 38 European countries, representing over 1.500 NGOs and more than 47million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.

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