Green Future Index 2023: Momentum slowing among climate leaders

For the least three years, US university MIT’s Technology Review Insights team has produced a comparative analysis on the success of environmental efforts in 76 countries and territories.

Green Future Index 2023

Predictably, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden respectively ranked 1st to 5th on the table. Netherlands, UK, South Korea, France, and Spain round out the remainder of the Top 10. 

The ranking system uses five core pillars on which locations are judged. These are carbon emissions, energy transition, green society, clean innovation and climate policy. For example, Japan scored positively for its New Energy and Industrial Technology Organization, which has been allocated $892million to research new low-emission synthetic fuels.

Neighbouring South Korea, the only non-European country to make the top ten, is celebrated for doubling it carbon neutrality spending, introducing a new Climate Neutrality Act and creating a $1.9billion climate fund. And India, which ranked 50th overall, benefited from a plan to issue $1.6billion in green bonds for new clean energy infrastructure. 

You can find the interactive Green Future Index here, allowing you to dive into numbers for each of the 76 nations and territories. 

A report has also been produced highlighting key takeaways. Major issues were identified with COP27, for which it is understood almost 400 private jets were used to transport attendees to the event in Egypt, and delegates were present from 600 fossil fuel companies, raising alarms about lobbying potential. The work also make it clear that governments must understand that climate policies that suit Western countries are often an imperfect fit for the developing world. 

However, there are some causes for optimism. Of the top 20 ranking territories, 17 were in that group when 2022’s index was produced. This points to consistency among governments that are seen to be performing well in this context, which could offer suitable models for others to follow. That said, around half of these returning leaders dropped points compared to the previous 12 months, which reflects a slowing of momentum surrounding climate policy and investment. 

More on green policy: 

How to celebrate organisational sustainability and avoid ‘greenhushing’

Scrapping EU-era nutrient neutrality ‘will boost England housing stock’

Environmental Political Purpose Awards nominees announced

In an era of ecological crisis, we need experts as influencers

Image: Philip Myrtorp





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