Sweden leads world in tackling climate change with US in free fall

15th November 2017

Web sweden istock 473026168

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Fossil fuels ,
  • Global



Sweden has topped a list of 60 countries ranking their progress in tackling climate change, but no nation is doing enough to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Climate Change Performance Index 2018 measures countries' performance based on their greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, climate policy and energy use.

Lithuania, Morocco, Norway and the UK join Sweden in the five best performing countries, while Saudi Arabia is bottom of the pile, followed by Iran, Korea, Australia and the US.

“We continue to see very positive developments regarding renewables and energy efficiency, with CO2 emissions stabalising in the last three years,” Climate Action Network senior adviser, Stephan Singer, said.

”But progress is achieved much too slow for a fully renewable energy based world economy in a few decades, because growing oil and gas consumption is higher than the welcomed reduction in coal use.”

The Index was published by the European think tanks Germanwatch and the NewClimate Institute, with the countries studied representing approximately 90% of global CO2 emissions.

The low ranking for the US follows its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and a dismantlement of major climate legislation following the election of Donald Trump.

However, its high emission levels and energy use also contribute to its low position, with the bottom three nations said to be showing hardly any progress or ambition in tackling these areas.

India ranks 14th in the list with continued low emissions and energy use per capita, and although China is ranked 41st, it is expected to perform better in the years ahead as it phases out coal and promotes renewables.

However, the index highlights a general lack of ambitious targets and action to deliver the Paris Agreement throughout the world, with the EU coming in for particular criticism.

Climate Action Network director, Wendel Trio, said: “The EU vows commitment to the Paris Agreement, but avoids real climate action at home. It needs to translate words into action.

“Current discussions on the new clean energy policies and the EU budget offer excellent opportunities to increase ambition of the bloc’s climate action.”


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

A social conscience

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

David Symons, FIEMA, director of sustainability at WSP, and IEMA’s Lesley Wilson, tell Chris Seekings why a growing number of organisations are turning to nature-based solutions to meet their climate goals

6th June 2024

Read more

A system-level review is needed to deliver a large-scale programme of retrofit for existing buildings. Failure to do so will risk missing net-zero targets, argues Amanda Williams

31st May 2024

Read more

Chris Seekings reports from a webinar helping sustainability professionals to use standards effectively

31st May 2024

Read more

Although many organisations focus on scope 1 and 2 emissions, it is vital to factor in scope 3 emissions and use their footprint to drive business change

31st May 2024

Read more

IEMA submits response to the Future Homes Standard consultation

31st May 2024

Read more

What is the role for nature in the Climate Change Act? Sophie Mairesse reports

20th May 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close