Climate Change Performance Index 2023

Posted on Friday, 25 November 2022
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Ireland ranks 37 out of 59 countries in the Climate Change Performance Index 2023.  Published annually since 2005, the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) is an independent monitoring tool for tracking the climate protection performance of 59 countries and the EU, collectively encompassing 92% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.  Despite improving nine places in the rankings since the last report, Ireland is still ranked among the low performing countries including Brazil, Thailand, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and South Africa.  Overall Ireland receives a medium rating in the Renewable Energy and Energy Use categories, with a low rating in Climate Policy and a very low rating in GHG Emissions, indicating that despite progress in some areas there is much more work to do.


Overall ranking

CCPI 2023 overall rating

CCPI 2023 assessment Ireland

Significant progress in climate policy

Ireland is committed to reducing emissions by 51% by 2030 (compared to 2018 levels) and achieving net-zero emissions by no later than 2050. Despite these goals, Ireland’s emissions are rising and have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.

The CCPI experts note that significant progress in climate policy in 2022, with the introduction of legally binding carbon budgets and sectoral emissions ceilings. However, government implementation remains weak with necessary actions and measures delayed or ignored in many areas.

The experts welcome the five-year carbon budgets and sectoral emissions ceilings approved in 2022. However, they stress these improvements urgently need to be translated into substantive actions across all relevant sectors to actually reduce Ireland’s emissions.

Use of coal in power generation increased

The country’s agricultural policies continue to support intensification of livestock farming, which increases GHG emissions, harms water and air quality, and is a primary contributor to biodiversity loss in Ireland. The experts highlight the need to reduce use of reactive nitrogen in fertiliser and to pay for ecosystem services.

Government plans for offshore wind are substantial, and new schemes have been introduced in transport, microgeneration, and energy efficiency. Use of coal in power generation, however, has increased. Energy retrofits and solar photovoltaics are not being delivered at the necessary scale and not reaching those most at risk of energy poverty. Fossil gas infrastructure and gas connections are also still being promoted.

The government has accelerated the phase-out of peat in power generation and committed to supporting peatland restoration and rehabilitation. The experts, however, criticise that peat extraction from wetlands continues for horticultural use and export.


Pathway to 2030 target

Overall the report finds Ireland on the wrong trajectory towards meeting the Paris agreement target and 2030 targets.

CCPI 2023 Ireland pathway 2030 target

Greenhouse Gas Emissions:

Ireland received a ‘very low’ rating on action to curb greenhouse gas emission, ranking 47th out of 59 countries.  Poland was the only other EU country to receive a ‘very low’ rating.  Sweden was the best performing EU member state, ranking 3rd.

CCPI 2023 GHG rating

Renewable Energy:

Ireland received a ‘medium’ renewable energy rating and ranks 23rd out of the 59 countries assessed in the report.

CCPI 2023 Renewable Energy

Energy Use:

Ireland also received a ‘medium’ energy use rating ranking 28th out of the 59 countries assessed in the report.

CCPI 2023 Energy Use Rating

Climate policy:

Ireland received a ‘low’ rating for ‘climate policy’ was ‘low’ ranking 40 out of 59 countries. 

CCPI 2023 Climate Policy