Countries are progressing too slowly on green growth

21 Jun Countries are progressing too slowly on green growth

The OECD published its Green Growth Indicators 2017 report on June 20. The report uses a uses a range of indicators covering everything from land use to COproductivity and innovation to show where 46 countries rank on balancing economic growth with environmental pressures over 1990 to 2015. Of the 46 countries examined, Iceland, Costa Rica and Sweden have the highest share of renewables in their energy mix. The BRIICS have a higher average share of renewables at 14.8% than OECD countries at 9.6%, but the share has dropped in the BRIICS since 1990 while it has risen in the OECD area. Switzerland and Sweden showed the highest level of carbon productivity, while the Slovak Republic, Latvia and Poland all reduced CO2 emissions as GDP rose. Other notable conclusions include that China and the US extract the most non-energy raw materials followed by India and Brazil (mostly biomass), and South Africa and Canada (mostly metals).

The report shows that a surge in innovation and green technologies in the early 2000s boosted productivity and growth, but since 2011 inventive activity has slowed in all major technological areas related to the environment. About 90% of green technologies originate in OECD countries, but the contributions of China and India are rising fast. Yet progress is too slow, and if emissions embodied in international trade are included, advances in environmental productivity are more modest.

Full report available here.