The Global Green Economy Index 2014
The Global Green Economy Index is now onto its 4th biennial edition of separating the cabbages from the clowns. Green performance entails an awful lot of renewable energy or eating cabbage, while the clowns think they can still get away with uneconomical cars and coal-fired power stations.
Top of course are the Scandinavians, whose policies have been green for generations, although an awful lot of oil and gas have powered Norway's expensive conversion to the green side. Germany naturally gets the perception award for being so much in the forefront of renewable energy and showing European leadership in the necessary economic and environmental change.
Behind Sweden and Norway, the 3rd spot for performance goes for first time entrants, Costa Rica, whose efforts, especially in sustainable building, are only helped a little by their small size. Large nations do have a problem with the absolute expense of change. Of the 60 countries and 70 cities surveyed, larger nations such as China, Poland and lastly, Mongolia bring up the rear.
Many countries are not perceived as being green enough or they appear much more green than they really are. The African countries of Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda and Zambia deserve credit for becoming very environmentally friendly.
Cites that have been poor performers long ago, now rank highly. Being rich enough to alter your infrastructure is also a help. With London and its eco-buildings 5th and New York 7th, only the obvious ones such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam beat them. The nicest cities seem to be all green, such as, in order, Stockholm, Vancouver, Berlin and Singapore, not forgetting Oslo in 10th.
Concern has to be expressed about developed countries that have fallen behind. Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and the US perform poorly compared to other similar countries. This group seem to class themselves as fairly green, but this just doesn't add up in reality Likewise, the UK is inconsistent and therefore never excels in the survey, unlike many other European countries that exceed even their own green perception of themselves. Opposite to the UK, France outranks it on performance but sees itself as much less green than the UK! In similar fashion, Colombia, Chile and Peru are imperceptibly green on the outside, but are blossoming on the inside!
Buildings are often the key to "green-ness", as their emissions are prominent among polluting sources. So we can judge a nation's performance on climate, energy and their environment almost with only a sustainability of building report. The Dual Citizen LLC consultancy produce the GGEI report from the US.