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Reports & Briefings

Off target: Ranking of EU countries’ ambition and progress in fighting climate change

The aim of this publication is to examine which EU Member States are willing to increase their climate action and tackle the gap between the goals of the Paris Agreement and current greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts in the EU.

The ranking assesses both the role that Member States play in setting ambitious climate and energy targets and policies, and what progress they are making in reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency at home.

The ranking shows that all EU countries are off target: they are failing to increase their climate action in line with the Paris Agreement goal. No single EU country is performing sufficiently in both ambition and progress in reducing carbon emissions. Countries can and must to do more to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

For this reason, the top position of the ranking is unoccupied. Sweden comes out as leader of the pack, followed by Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Aside from this group, a vast majority of Member States achieve a score of less than half of the possible points.

On the one hand, some countries score highly on 'ambition' due to their promotion of ambitious targets at EU level. Here, Sweden, Luxembourg and France score the most points. Unfortunately however, most countries that advocate for more ambitious policies for the future are currently lagging behind in achieving targets for 2020 and reducing carbon emissions.

On the other hand, some countries achieve a high score on 'progress' due to the fact that they are overachieving their 2020 climate and energy targets. Here, Croatia, Romania and Greece score the most points. However, countries that are on track to meet their current targets mostly do so because the targets were set too low and are easy to reach. These countries are opposing more ambitious policies for the future, because they want to keep on seeming to ‘overachieve’.

pdf Off target: Ranking of EU countries ambition and progress in fighting climate change (344 KB)

pdf German version: Off target: Ranking of EU countries ambition and progress in fighting climate change (1.26 MB)

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