Results from the 2022 Global Green Economy Index™ (GGEI)

Covering 160 countries, this new GGEI represents a novel approach to measuring national sustainability performance: for each of its 18 indicators, it looks at both the degree of progress each country has made from 2005 to 2020, and its distance from globally established sustainability targets. You can access the results on our new web platform

Why is this new GGEI measurement approach valuable? The IPCC reported in April 2022 how little time remains to keep on a 1.5C pathway. Thus, green economy performance in the 2020s must now be tracked according to progress against global targets to ensure that sustainability is measured in action, not rhetoric. Access the new GGEI digital platform here.

Here are some country-level takeaways from the new GGEI:

– Sweden is again the top performer overall on the GGEI, with other European countries filling out the top of the index, including the United Kingdom and Germany. None of the other top global emitters perform well: China ranks 58th; the United States 38th; India 144th, Brazil 52nd; Indonesia 154th; Mexico 78th; Korea 59th; Japan 47th; and Canada 37th.

– If we focus only on country progress, the GGEI results look different, suggesting market momentum in countries where overall performance may be poor: Two MENA countries (Jordan and Israel), China, Uruguay and the Solomon Islands are all in the top 10.

– When considering progress from 2005 to 2020 in reducing GHG emissions/GDP, the average rate of improvement across the 160 GGEI countries is 42%. Yet with the exception of China and Indonesia, all of the world’s top emitters fall below this average rate of progress, suggesting how elusive global green growth remains.

– In terms of success at sector decarbonization (i.e. buildings, electricity & heat, manufacturing & construction, transport, and waste & resource efficiency), the story is the same: with the exception of Germany and the United Kingdom, the world’s top emitters perform poorly.

– This new GGEI incorporates three social indicators: income equality, gender equality in the workplace, and gender equality in governance. While efforts towards gender equity are generally improving, income equality is not, with around ⅓ of the 160 countries in the GGEI seeing rising income inequality between 2005 and 2020.

– The EU and China continue to be the best targets for green energy investment and innovation, with the United States lagging behind (ranks 25th on Markets & ESG dimension of the GGEI). The GGEI progress measurement shows investors where green market momentum exists, while the distance from target indicates which markets may be subject to abrupt regulation in the coming years.

– On the Environment dimension, only 5 of the 160 GGEI countries meet Air Quality standards set by the World Health Organization, with the average PM2.5 exposure of all GGEI countries being more than 5 times the WHO guidance.

– In terms of Biodiversity and Oceans, countries are making better progress around protecting key marine and terrestrial biodiversity areas, with more countries than not exceeding the 30% by 2030 target.

– Echoing similar analyses, the GGEI and its green economy measurement framework suggests a wide gap between rhetoric and reality when it comes to net zero targets and NDC emission reduction goals from the COP process. This GGEI model will be continually updated as new data and targets are verified, providing a wide range of stakeholders with insight and market intelligence on the topic.

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