Saudi Arabia has been slow with its efforts to combat climate change. Researches and reports suggest the kingdom is not serious with this international quest.
On Tuesday, the country continued to rank very low on the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), coming in at number 60 out of 61 in this year's report. It was followed by the U.S., which came in last at 61.
CCPI is an annual index that gives a breakdown of actions taken by nations to curb climate change.
The report's most recent results were unveiled during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, revealing that Saudi Arabia hasn't changed the way it's tackling the phenomenon.
This is the first time the country is not named the worst performing on the list, however, it still ranks at its low end. Experts believe that's because the country has shown "hardly any signs" of reducing their greenhouse gas production.
On CCPI 2020's list, no country was found to have performed well enough in all categories to take the first three ranks.
Sweden led the ranking, coming in at number 4, followed by Denmark (5) and Morocco (6). The latter - which also ranked among the index's top five last year - is leading the Arab region when it comes to battling climate change.
Now while there were drops in emissions reported in most countries, the report found that none of the nations surveyed were currently on a path compatible with the Paris climate goals agreement.
The scheme was introduced in 2015 and aims to create a sustainable low-carbon future.
A closer look at the Arab world on this year's index
Saudi Arabia is one of four Arab countries surveyed as part of the index and is the worst out of them all.
This year, the Gulf nation scored extremely low in three categories: GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, and Energy Use. Though the kingdom is working on the development of renewable energy, the report indicates this move won't be enough due to "the lack of clear strategies and targets for emissions reduction."
Morocco is the top performing Arab state on the list and one of the best in the world. This comes as no surprise given that the country is focusing on developing renewable energy sources and effective plans to reduce green house gas emissions by 32 percent within 15 years.
The other two regional countries listed on the index are Egypt and Algeria; both reported significant improvements. Egypt came in at number 19 on the list, climbing up from 24 last year, and Algeria jumped up a rank from 47 to 46.
The region must amp up efforts to combat climate change
In November, a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said Arab governments aren't doing enough to combat the environment killer.
The study's findings were discussed at the organization's biannual council meeting in Abu Dhabi last month. It was revealed that lawmakers across the region must pass legislations to increase spending on renewable energy sources to alleviate the destructive effects of climate change.
To meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, countries in the region should pay $148 billion each year until 2050, according to the report's author, Elizabeth Press.
Arab countries must collectively work on changing the way they're responding to the pressing issue. This is urgent as climate change might render the region uninhabitable by the end of the current century, according to a study released in 2016.