Nature and Biodiversity

Which countries are best prepared for the green tech transition?

To use, adopt or adapt to frontier technologies will be essential to the green tech transition.

To use, adopt or adapt to frontier technologies will be essential to the green tech transition. Image: Pexels/Quang Nguyen Vinh

Anna Fleck
Data Journalist, Statista
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  • The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has ranked 166 countries on their level of preparedness to start using frontier green technologies.
  • The top 5 is made up of the United States, Sweden, Singapore, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
  • China ranked in 35th place – despite its ability to produce innovative technologies – because of its urban-rural disparities in internet coverage and broadband speed.

The United States, Sweden, Singapore, Switzerland and the Netherlands are the five most prepared countries to use, adopt or adapt to frontier technologies, which will be essential to the green tech transition, according to data released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

166 countries were ranked on their level of preparedness to start using frontier technologies with the five following indicators: ICT, Skills, Industry, Research and Development and Finance. The following map uses the summed rank of each indicator to give a final score. For example, where the U.S. ranked in 2nd place for R&D, 11th for ICT, 18th for skills, 16th for industry and 2nd for finance, the sum was 49.

At the bottom of the list comes Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and South Sudan. These five countries each ranked near the bottom across all five categories.

As the following chart shows, there’s a clear divide between high income countries and lower income countries. Latin America, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa are the least ready to harness frontier technologies, which means they are most at risk of missing out on current technological opportunities.

Despite China’s ability to produce and innovate frontier technologies, the country ranked lower than might have been expected, coming in 35th place, due to its urban-rural disparities in internet coverage and broadband speed. In terms of the other members of the BRICS bloc, Brazil ranked in 40th place, India in 46th and South Africa in 56th.

A number of countries in Asia performed better than expected, however, including India (55th position), the Philippines (57th) and Vietnam (45th). When looking at the difference between India’s actual index ranking and the projected rankings based on per capita income, India ranks 67 places higher than expected. UNCTAD researchers explain: “This is mostly due to increased investment in infrastructure, enhanced technical skills and a conducive business climate.”

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Which countries are prepared for the green tech transition?
Which countries are prepared for the green tech transition? Image: Statista
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