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DUBAI: COP 28 host UAE has placed 65 out of 67 in the latest (19th) Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) that reflects the climate mitigation progress of 63 countries and the European Union.

Published by Germanwatch, NewClimate Institute and Climate Action Network International, the CCPI says The UAE‘s per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (25.9 tonnes) are among the highest in the world, as is its per capita wealth, while its national climate targets are “inadequate”. Meanwhile Abu Dhabi continues to develop and finance new oil and gas fields domestically and abroad.

The UAE’s share of renewables in total primary energy supply remains below 1.0 percent. In addition to investing in carbon capture and storage technologies, the report says the seven emirates should seek to reduce their emissions by exploiting a strong potential for renewable energy production.

The experts who co-authored the Index also criticize the UAE’s uncoordinated waste management practices that result in expensive projects but neglect large sources of emissions. And they also call for stricter building codes to improve energy efficiency and reduce consumption.

As a result it received a ‘very low’ in the GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, and Energy Use categories and a ‘medium’ in Climate Policy.

“Some countries do quite well in single categories, but no country is consistently a ‘high’ or ‘very high’ performer. The average is simply not enough for a path to 1.5 degrees,” commented Jan Burck from Germanwatch.

Co-author Niklas Höhne of the NewClimate Institute added: “We see two competing developments: on the one hand renewables boom and governments have continuously updated their renewable energy targets. On the other hand climate policy making in general is slowing down. For the first time, not a single country ranks ‘high’ in [this] category,” he added.

China, the largest emitter, remains in 51st place on the Index, while the U.S. has dropped five places since last year to 57th. Explained Burck: “Our experts from the U.S. welcome the climate relevant Inflation Reduction Act that led to significant investments in renewable energy. But more concrete implementation policies in all sectors are needed.

“However, the disastrous climate policy record of the first Trump administration raises fears that a potential new Trump administration would make the picture even worse,” he continued.

As the UK falls from 11th to 20th place, “exactly opposite of what we need,” according to Thea Uhlich from Germanwatch, India (7th), Germany (14th), and the EU (16th) are the only three G20 members among the ‘high’ overall performers in the latest Index.

Ulrich notes Brazil is one G20 country that has improved significantly, climbing 15 places to 23rd as president Lula pursues a more progressive climate policy, both internationally and nationally.

“The developments in Brazil are promising, but the G20 as a whole must significantly accelerate the expansion of renewables and phase-out all fossil fuels as soon as possible,” observed Burck. “[It] has a special responsibility for high climate ambition as it accounts for around 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.”

Canada (62nd), Russia (63rd), South Korea (64th), and Saudi Arabia (67th) remain the G20’s worst performing countries clustered with the UAE at the bottom of the Index.

The CCPI reflects the climate mitigation efforts of 63 countries plus the European Union. New participants are Nigeria, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and the UAE.

Approximately 450 experts contributed to the Index that assessed greenhouse gas emissions (40 percent), renewable energy (20 percent), energy use (20 percent), and climate policy (20 percent).

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