Portugal improved its performance within a ranking that encompasses 59 countries. However, it remains below countries producing oil, gas and coal.
Portugal improved its position in the Climate Change Performance Index. In the table for 2023, it is in 14th place among 59 countries, up from 16th in the previous year.
Portugal improved in pollutant gas emissions, which are now assessed as being at a mid-range level, allowing this category to climb 16 places compared to the previous year. The country’s ranking is also mid-range in the remaining three criteria that are assessed: energy use, renewable energy and climate policy.
Ceasing the use of coal for power generation in 2021 was a “major improvement”. In what concerns climate policy, despite strengthening the Climate Law, it “lacks ambition in some aspects,” for example, fossil fuel subsidies will only end in 2030. It is also pointed out that transport-related emissions continue to increase, despite the investments planned for public transport. The lack of support to expand sustainable agriculture or to prevent forest fires is also criticised.
In renewable energy, the rating is “high” but “more decentralised solar power is needed,” reads the report. Initiatives are also needed to decarbonise the electricity sector and promote energy efficiency. These assessments were made by Francisco Ferreira and Pedro Nunes from Zero, and Laura Carvalho, from Quercus, who collaborated on the index.
This index has a peculiarity: the first three places, the only ones corresponding to a “very high” performance, are empty. That is because they are intended for countries whose performance is aligned to keep global warming below 1.5ºC, and none of the countries assessed fit this criterion. The country with the best rating, Denmark, appears in fourth place, in the same category as Portugal, i.e. both have a “high” performance.
Both Denmark and Sweden remain in the highest places, the same as last year.