Out of 58 countries ranked by Climate Action Network Europe, the U.S. has shown considerable improvement in its international standings for climate action, landing at the 34th slot over last year’s 46th.
While the overall ranking is not stellar, the trend line is positive. Nationwide movement from coal to natural gas power plants, aggressive promotion of renewable energy by states such as Maine, South Dakota, Iowa and California, along with improved national guidelines for vehicle fuel efficiency largely drove the improved standing. The report placed Denmark and the United Kingdom at the top of the list, with India landing well ahead of the U.S. in 25th place; despite having about 18 percent of the world’s population, India only contributes 7 percent of world’s emissions. By contrast, the U.S. has about 4 percent of the global population but contributes 16 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions. Although the Trump will soon bring his blockhead beliefs about climate change into the White House, the fact that so many states – both red and blue – are pursuing clean energy bodes well for the future. Although national leadership on this profile may vanish, the report demonstrates positive trend lines are still achievable if action at the state-level is sustained.