A recent report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) reveals that energy markets are struggling to change fast enough to avert climate change.
The WEF’s Fostering Effective Enerhu Transition Report analyzes countries’ ability to transition to more environmentally friendly technologies and to create a sustainable, environmentally-cautious energy market. According to an article from Eco-Business News, WEF’s report reveals that “while most countries are making some progress to shift to more sustainable energy systems, the pace is insufficient to keep climate change in check.”
WEF used 114 countries’ Energy Transition Index (ETI) to study their current performance of energy on three fronts: energy security and access, the environmental sustainability of their current energy system, and the potential for inclusive economic growth and development. ETI also ranks countries’ potential to transition to a low-carbon energy future. Through ETI, WEF was able to find that all countries are struggling to keep up with the changes needed to avert climate change.
Based on the ETI rankings, European countries are leading the charge of energy transition with almost all of the top 10 positions. Referred to as the “leading countries” in the WEF report, European countries have been able to get ahead by transitioning carbon-burning energy sources for environmentally friendly ones. “In Norway, for example, carbon emissions are relatively low thanks to almost all electricity being generated from hydropower.”
While European countries are making strides toward energy sustainability, Eco-Business News highlighted that Asian countries performed poorly in the Energy Transition Index, with most lagging below the 50th position. According to the article, “between 2013 and 2018, 45 countries including Japan, China, and India saw decreasing scores for environmental sustainability…due to rising air pollution and particulate emissions.” These trends explain why environmental sustainability showed the lowest performance and improved rates in the WEF report. As air pollution and particulate emissions continue to rise, countries need to establish diligent environmentally-friendly energy systems that can start to counter these trends.
Even in today’s world of fast-paced technological advancement, “successful energy transition and system improvement will not happen overnight,” the article noted. To help guide countries on their path to energy transition, WEF has proposed a seven-step program.
This process guides government decision makers as they implement new environmentally-friendly policies. The report also encourages countries to “benchmark themselves against comparable peer groups…to identify good examples and develop suitable improvement strategies.” Energy transition can’t be done overnight, but by following the seven-step program highlighted by WEF, countries will be more capable of implementing the changes needed to avert climate change.