Ireland ranked low in latest international climate action league

Ireland ranked low in latest international climate action league

When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, Ireland remains among the very low performers, according to the Climate Change Performance Index.

Ireland is lagging around the tail end of low-performing countries when it comes to tackling emissions, according to an international rating index that measures countries' actions on protecting the environment.

The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), an independent guide published yearly since 2005, ranked Ireland 46th in 2021 out of more than 60 countries, falling seven spots since last year.

No country performs well enough in all CCPI index categories to achieve an overall very high rating, the organisation said, leaving the highest three spots blank and, instead, placing Denmark in fourth as the best of the bunch.

When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, Ireland remains among the very low performers, CCPI said.

Low rating for climate policy

"It also receives a low rating in the climate policy category. Ireland’s national climate policy is still rated as low as although new policies have been developed, they have not yet been fully adopted and implemented," it said.

However, Ireland received a high rating in the renewable energy category and a medium rating in energy use, it said.

The newly enacted Climate Bill in Ireland was acknowledged by the CCPI, but it warned that "weak implementation across Government" was a potential risk to taking action.

Data centres, which have come under scrutiny in recent months, are also a risk, the index claimed, as are emissions from agriculture.

"Other risks include the risk of fossil gas lock-in from increasing demand due to projected data centres development, as well as the potential for lower action in the agriculture sector to result in increasing pressure on the rest of society. Broad and systematic dialogue with all relevant stakeholders and communities is essential in this regard," it said.

Transport and forestry

Other major shortcomings are in transport and forestry, the CCPI report said.

By contrast, Denmark ranks in the upper brackets for action on emissions, renewable energy, and climate policy categories, the index found.

"In partnership with Costa Rica, Denmark launched the Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance this year, aimed at moving more countries away from extracting fossil fuel. Denmark is among the progressive players in climate policy. 

"Domestically, the experts consider Denmark’s climate neutrality goal should be brought forward from the current 2050 to reach neutrality by 2040," the CCPI said.

Sweden, Norway, and the UK were ranked just below Denmark, while Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran finished bottom of the pile.

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