Qualitative and quantitative social, economic and environmental factors are assessed for the relative ranking of countries. Some, such as the Global Country ESG Index and the Global Corruption Index, rank countries in terms of economic and commercial factors. Others, such as the Commitment to Development Index, the Democracy Index and the Human Freedom Index, rank the civil liberties of countries.
The Sustainable Development Report provides an overall sustainable development (SDG) performance ranking of UN member states. The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) monitors the climate mitigation efforts of 60 countries worldwide – GHG emissions, renewable energy, energy use and climate policy.
The Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 by the United Nations is intended to strengthen the ability of countries to take measures to mitigate the adverse effect of climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.
To achieve the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, each country must determine, plan and regularly report on measures it takes to mitigate global warming and periodically strengthen its commitment. The countries are legally obligated to prepare, communicate and submit nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – their plans for climate action.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) are the blueprint. The countries are responsible for SDG implementation, subject to the interplay of state sovereignty, self-regulation and national circumstances. SDG implementation and success depend on each country's sustainable development policies, plans, and programs and the inclusion of all stakeholders in the process.
The Paris Agreement which is a legally binding international treaty entered into force on 4 November 2016 and has been ratified by 189 countries to date. All countries have agreed to work towards achieving the goals. When developing NDCs and adopting domestic measures to implement them, countries consider how they relate to the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda.