RIGA - In the latest Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), Latvia remains among the medium-performing countries and has risen by one position over the year to 25th place, showing a similar performance as last year, Laura Buzinska, a representative of the Green Freedom nongovernmental group, told LETA.
The 18th annual edition of the CCPI was released during the UN Global Climate Summit (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Monday.
The CCPI uses a standardized framework to compare the climate performance of 59 countries and the EU, which together account for 92 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The climate protection performance is assessed in four categories: GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, Energy Use and Climate Policy.
According to this year's index, the best performing countries are Denmark, Sweden, Chile, Morocco and India, while Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan are at the bottom of the list. Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine has brought about the energy crisis, has weakened global climate action and is therefore in last place in the CCPI.
The CCPI experts note that Latvia already has a relatively high share of renewable energy in its total energy consumption, owing to hydroelectric power plants and a high percentage of biomass in heating.
The experts welcome recent support mechanisms for deployment of solar and wind power. However, they criticize there being no discussion on fossil fuel phase-out, and demand concrete steps towards such a phase-out. The also criticize the Latvian government’s support of LNG terminal development.
The country’s intensification of forestry and high exports of unprocessed round wood have also led to Latvian forests becoming emissions sources rather than sinks, according to the CCPI experts.