During COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, the horrifying truth dawned on me: the rich countries which are largely responsible for the climate change, will not contribute to a binding global climate agreement. Shortly after the summit, I began my search for knowledge and attempt to place the national moral responsibility for the collapse of common sense in the world community. Before COP19 in Warsaw in 2013 the site climatepositions.com was presented. (Claus Andersen)

ClimatePositions is a way of comparing national climate- and environmental performance over time and thereby uncover the Climate Positions worldwide. The national Climate Debt in US$ are calculated by using recognized indicators. See the ranking by country in the menu “Climate Debt”.

The indicators used in the calculations are listed below. Read more about the indicators and their impact on the Climate Debts in the menu “Calculations”.

  • Fossil CO2 Emissions from fuels and industrial processes, however, emissions from international shipping and aviation (bunker) are not included.
  • Global Land/Ocean (air) Temperature
  • Global Sea Level
  • CO2 Content in the atmosphere
  • Forest Cover and Primary Forests
  • Environmental Performance
  • Ecological Footprint without carbon
  • Nuclear Power
  • GDP(ppp-$)
  • Population (national and global)

The overall objective of the calculations is that all countries gradually must approach the same allowable level of CO2 Emission per capita. The other indicators however have a significant impact on the allowable national CO2 Emissions and thus the Climate Debts.

The Climate Debt in US$ are meant to compensate for the accelerating deterioration of life on the planet and the conditions for future generations – in a world more wise and fair than the present.

The heart of ClimatePositions is an interactive spreadsheet (Excel), with the ability to insert any country from the list and change the assumptions for all indicators and values. The spreadsheet is available in the menu “Calculations (Excel)”.

Open a graphic presentation (pdf) HERE

The methods in ClimatePositions can be summarized as follows:

  1. The national Climate Levy is calculated by using the same method for all countries.
  2. The allowed Fossil CO2 Emissions per capita gradually approached a common CO2 Target – some countries must therefore reduce emissions considerably while others may increase their emissions.
  3. Basis for the calculations are the average national Fossil CO2 Emissions in 1990-1999. A range of national and global indicators however are integrated in the calculations with significant impact on the Climate Debt.
  4. In 2017 the global CO2 Target was 2.8 tons of CO2 per year per capita by 2024. This target however is automatically tensioned with rising atmospheric levels of CO2 and the earth’s growing population.
  5. The national performance in terms of Area Use (forests), environment (sustainability), Ecological Footprint (without CO2 Emissions) and Nuclear Power (radioactive waste) is affecting the annual national maximum allowable Fossil CO2 Emission per capita.
  6. Nuclear energy is equated with oil based energy in terms of CO2 Emissions in the calculations.
  7. The national Climate Debt increases with increasing prosperity (GDP(ppp-$)).
  8. The national Climate Debt increases with increasing global Land/Ocean Air Temperature and rising Sea Level.
  9. The future national Climate Debt can be reduced by phase out the Fossil CO2 Emissions, increase Forest Cover and Primary Forests, improve the environment, reduce the Ecological Footprint and phase out Nuclear Power.