Full report
Published: 20 April 2021

Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2021 edition

3. Overall results

This year marked the highest global average scores since the inception of the ETI, with the progress made across both system performance and transition readiness. Figure below shows global average scores across the ETI in energy system performance and transition readiness for 2012 and 2021. However, progress is uneven. High-income countries are making more progress in environmental sustainability relative to the rest of the world. Progress in emerging economies has tended to come from improved access and security as countries develop.

Sweden leads the global rankings, followed by Norway and Denmark. Among the world’s 10 largest economies, only the United Kingdom and France feature in the top 10. The top 10 account for only around 3% of energy-related CO2 emissions and around 2% of the global population.

The list of top performers in the ETI has stayed broadly consistent over the course of the decade. Although each country’s energy transition pathway is different, they all share common attributes including:

  • low levels of fossil fuel subsidies,
  • enhanced energy security from a diversity of fuel mix and import partners,
  • improving carbon intensity,
  • reduced dependence on fossil fuels in the energy mix, and
  • a strong regulatory environment to drive the energy transition.

Denmark, Finland, and the United Kingdom – the top improvers in the top 10 – were able to translate developments in leading indicators such as regulatory environment and energy mix into improved outcomes in system performance, particularly on the environmental sustainability dimension.

The figure below shows countries’ ETI score progression between 2012 and 2021. Out of 115 countries, 92 countries have made progress over this period, but only 68 have improved their scores by more than two percentage points. Notably, large emerging centres of demand, such as China and India, have seen strong improvements. Meanwhile, scores in Brazil, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and Turkey have been relatively stable. Only 13 out of the 115 countries have made steady gains (defined as consistently above-average performance improvements on the ETI). This demonstrates the difficulty of sustaining progress and the inherent complexity of the energy transition. In the next decade, consistent, accelerated progress is key to meeting the world’s climate targets as well as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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