UK and France lead G7 transition to sustainable energy systems

20th March 2018

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The UK and France are the only two G7 economies to feature in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) top 10 most prepared countries to transition to sustainable energy systems.

The Energy Transition Index ranks 114 nations on their readiness to convert to secure, affordable, reliable and sustainable energy, with Sweden, Norway and Switzerland completing the top three.

It was found that more than 80% of countries have registered an improvement in their energy systems over the past five years, but that there are still approximately one billion people without electricity.

In addition, carbon intensity among systems has flatlined, with marginal improvements of 1.8% a year significantly below the 3% threshold required to deliver the Paris Agreement.

“There is an urgent need to speed up the transition toward more sustainable energy production and use,” International Energy Agency executive director, Faith Birol, said.

“To do this we will need to harness a broad portfolio of energy technologies and deepen cooperation between governments, industry and civil society stakeholders.”

The index ranks countries on their current energy system performance, and evaluates the extent to which enabling conditions facilitate a low-carbon transition.

The top 10 countries are shown below:


Large economies outside the top 10 show mixed performances, with Germany facing challenges from high energy prices and rising emissions, but scoring well for institutions and regulations, ranked 16th.

The US scores poorly on environmental sustainability, but a strong innovation ecosystem, robust institutional framework, and vibrant capital markets, place the country 22nd in the table.

China is ranked 76th, but recent mandates for electric vehicles and political commitments to addressing environmental challenges give it the potential to leapfrog more advanced energy systems.

India is not far behind in 78th place after making strides towards improving energy access, reducing subsidies, and taking bold measures on renewables deployment.

“With this new fact-based framework, we do not only get a view of the performance of national energy systems today, but also a much-needed perspective on what is needed to succeed in the future," WEF head of basics and energy industries, Roberto Bocca, concluded.

Image credit: iStock

Graphic credit: WEF


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