The UK has ranked fifth in a global assessment of countries’ environmental practices and behaviours affecting climate change.
The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) assesses the green performance of 56 nations and the EU as a whole, based on their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy efficiency credentials and renewable energy output.
These three criteria make up 80% of the overall CCPI rating – the remainder is based on the opinions of 300 climate experts from all over the world.
The top three spots on the rankings were left blank to indicate none of the nations surveyed achieved a “very high” rating.
The UK was one of 15 countries to receive a “high” rating with a score of 66.79, trailing behind only Sweden (74.32), Lithuania (69.20), Morocco (68.22) and Norway (67.99).
Saudi Arabia was judged to be the least environmentally-friendly nation with a “very low” score of just 11.20, significantly worse than other countries at the bottom of the leaderboard, such as Iran (23.05) and South Korea (25.01).
The report placed the US and Australia 56th and 57th on the list respectively, due to their persistent use of coal.
This is more than 15 places behind the biggest emitter of GHGs on the planet, China – the CCPI said the nation was now making steady progress with renewables.