The European Union (EU) jumps six spots from last year, to be ranked 16th in this year’s CCPI.
The EU, driven by the positive role it plays in international climate negotiations, has a high overall rating on the CCPI, as well as in the underlying Climate Policy category. The EU does not, however, perform as well in any of the other categories.
Experts observe that the EU’s announcement to aim for achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, and increase its 2030 emission reduction target from its current level, are positive signals for climate action. They also note, however, that the EU is in a position to bring its net emissions to zero even sooner than 2050, and that the absence of clear safeguards against investments in fossil fuels and other polluting industries during the COVID-19-induced economic crisis risks endangering the EU’s achievement of net zero. Consequently, the EU’s domestic climate policy performance is rated medium. The EU similarly receives a medium rating in the GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, and Energy Use categories. This is because the bloc’s per capita GHG emissions remain higher than the global average and, experts note, the 2030 renewable energy targets are not sufficiently ambitious given the EU’s resources and capacities. Experts also view the poor implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy investment schemes as a cause for concern, along with the non-binding nature of the somewhat stringent governance regulations for post-2020 renewable energy targets (and plans) at the level of EU member states. Renewed attention paid to climate change at the European level, more ambitious efforts in instruments and governance, and green stimulus packages agreed to in 2021 could lead to an improved ranking in next year’s CCPI.
The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI: Tara Connolly (Friends of the Earth Europe), Raphael Hanoteaux (Bankwatch), Wendel Trio (Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe).