New Zealand rated 'poor' in climate change report, ranked just above China

New Zealand has been named among the world's worst performing countries on climate change in a report released at international talks in Peru.

Oil Refinery Source: Associated Press

The Climate Change Performance Index rated New Zealand 'poor', in 43rd place of 58 countries, and the seventh worst in the OECD. Denmark was ranked as the best-performing, followed by Sweden and Britain.

The report is particularly damning on the Government, ranking New Zealand's international climate policy 56th, and national climate policy similarly at 53rd.

The report, produced by thinktank Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe, ranks the biggest 58 emitters of greenhouse gases in the world - which account for around 90% of global energy-related emissions. It was released at the UN Climate Change Summit in Peru, which Climate Change Minister Tim Groser is attending.

The index measures the performance of the countries across five areas - level of emissions, trends in emissions, energy efficiency, renewable energy policies and approach to climate change at a national and international level.

New Zealand, which fell from last year's ranking of 41, is directly followed by the US and China, two of the world's biggest emitters.

However, there are some areas in which New Zealand is doing well. The country is sixteenth in efficiency, and sixth in emissions from electricity and heat production.

But in a startling display of how dire scientists believe the situation now is, the report states that if every country in the world suddenly performed as well as the likes of Denmark, global temperatures would still rise more than the 2C threshold.

As a result, the top three spots of the CCPI are blank to "remind countries of how much still remains to be done".

The index's creators say it is supposed to "enhance transparency in international climate politics".

"Its aim is to encourage political and social pressure on those countries which have, up to now, failed to take ambitious actions on climate protection," they said.

New Zealand accounts for 0.11% of global emissions.