How green - environmentally friendly - is your economy? More and more investors, journalists and policy makers are likely to ask this question to national investment promotion agencies, governments and business leaders. Sustainability matters in the context of country reputation and attractiveness.
The Global Green Economy Index by Jeremy Tamanini of Dual Citizen in the USA measures just that. With the latest (2018) version just launched, we caught up with Jeremy to hear about the key findings: which countries have seen the strongest improvements and which are lagging behind. Plus, the broader trends influencing green economies at the moment.
Jeremy, which findings of the 2018 Global Green Economy Index do you find the most intriguing?
The 2018 GGEI tracks 130 countries, up from 80 in the last (2016) edition. Many of the new countries added are in Africa. These countries are low contributors to global emissions, often have high contributions of renewable energy to electricity production, and poor environmental performance. Their populations are extremely vulnerable to climate change, particularly in economies with high levels of dependency on sectors like agriculture, fisheries and forests. This is a necessary reminder of climate justice: while richer countries bear most of the responsibility for historic emissions, poorer ones will bear the greatest consequences.
Which countries have seen the strongest increase in green economy performance? And which the strongest decline?
Smaller countries with consistent focus on green growth continue to improve their GGEI results. These improved countries cut across geographies and country income levels and include: the Nordic countries in Europe; Costa Rica, Uruguay and Colombia in Latin America; Kenya in Africa; and Taiwan and Singapore in Asia.
Many countries with high GDP growth rates in recent years - including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines - are seeing declining performance. Also, GGEI results across the EU are quite uneven, with the top GGEI performers counterbalanced by poor results in the Baltic states, Bulgaria and Poland.
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