'Almost no progress' towards sustainable energy systems globally – WEF

26th March 2019


Web power grid istock 858316674

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Energy ,
  • Global ,
  • Sustainability

Author

Aston Howes

Global energy systems are less affordable and no more environmentally sustainable today than they were five years ago, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has warned.

In a report published yesterday, the WEF highlighted continued coal use in Asia, increasing commodity prices, and slower than needed improvements in energy intensity as reasons for the lack of progress.

This is despite access to energy improving substantially in recent years, with less than one billion people currently living without electricity.

The WEF called for “urgent action“ from governments and businesses to improve affordability and sustainability so that energy systems are safeguarded for future generations.

“Solid progress in bringing energy within the reach of more and more people is not enough to mask wider failures, which are already having an impact on our climate and on our societies,“ WEF executive committee member, Roberto Bocca, said.

The report also includes an 'Energy Transition Index', which measures countries' readiness for sustainable systems based on six key indicators, such as investment and political commitment.

Smaller countries scored highest in terms of readiness, with the UK the only G7 economy in the top 10, and all of them were from Western Europe except for Singapore.

But the WEF said this is the biggest obstacle to future-proofing energy systems, with the top 10 most prepared countries only accounting for 2.6% of global annual emissions.

Despite this, China and India score much better for readiness than they do for their energy systems' current performance, which suggests “an enabling environment is being built to support future transition“.

The research came just before the International Energy Agency revealed that CO2 emissions, fossil fuel demand, and coal power generation all increased last year.

“Critical measures to accelerate energy transition include decoupling economic growth from energy consumption, mainstreaming technological innovations, and addressing equity and justice,“ the WEF said.

“Given the interconnectedness of the energy system throughout economic, social, and political systems, there is greater need than ever for different stakeholder groups to seek common understanding.“

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

How much is too much?

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

The UK’s major cities lag well behind their European counterparts in terms of public transport use. Linking development to transport routes might be the answer, argues Huw Morris

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

A hangover from EU legislation, requirements on the need for consideration of nutrient neutrality for developments on many protected sites in England were nearly removed from the planning system in 2023.

2nd April 2024

Read more

It’s well recognised that the public sector has the opportunity to work towards a national net-zero landscape that goes well beyond improving on its own performance; it can also influence through procurement and can direct through policy.

19th March 2024

Read more

The UK government’s carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) strategy is based on optimistic techno-economic assumptions that are now outdated, Carbon Tracker has warned.

13th March 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close