UK Green Economy Progress: Fact or Fiction?

Visiting post-Brexit, COP26 Britain last week begged the question: what is going on in the UK’s green economy lately? Phil McNally of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change sums it up as follows:

“Much of the (UK) progress to date in reducing emissions has come from low-hanging fruit…the next stage of decarbonization will be more complex. This requires moving beyond the low-hanging fruit and addressing issues that will have a direct impact on the lives and livelihoods of people across the country.”

The new 2022 Global Green Economy Index™ (GGEI) offers real-time insight into which of the 160 markets it covers have green economy momentum. By tracking the change in performance over time across the 18 GGEI indicators, the GGEI identifies where green economies are developing most rapidly and what is driving the change. Here is what the latest GGEI says about the UK’s green economy progress:

– While ranking 9th overall on the GGEI, the UK is #39 in terms of green economy progress from 2005-2020. The UK’s progress is about average compared to EU countries, and is fueled by strong growth in installed renewable energy capacity and gender equity in governance. 

– Underlining how the next phase of UK’s decarbonization will be more complex than the last which focused mostly on phasing out coal-fired power, the GGEI data indicate poor UK progress performance on buildings and transport efficiency.

– The UK has made strong progress on Environmental Health indicators like Air Quality, Forests, and Water Systems, but shows backsliding on the Agriculture indicator, with organic farming representing only 2.7% of total farmable land there.

– While the UK continues to make progress promoting gender equality in the workplace, the GGEI data indicate greater income inequality in 2020 when compared to 2005.

– GGEI subscriptions provide our partners with progress measurement in customized time frames (e.g. 2015-present) and well as country reports to inform policy assessments (i.e. did policies result in actual progress?) Click here to learn more.

Visit the new GGEI digital platform here.

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