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Sustainable Energy Progress Stalls Amid Global Energy Crisis

Photo by Appolinary Kalashnikova / Unsplash

Why it matters: Amid global energy crises and geopolitical uncertainties, the world's transition to sustainable energy has hit a speed bump, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Accenture's 2023 Fostering Effective Energy Transition report.

Amid these challenges, a focus on energy security has brought issues of equitable access and economic development to the forefront of the global energy transition.

The Key Points:

  • The Energy Transition Index (ETI) uses an updated model to assess the energy system performance and transition readiness of 120 countries.
  • For the first time, the report estimates "transition momentum" to highlight the need for continued progress toward a timely and effective transition.
  • Over the past decade, global energy transition trends have been positive, with about 95% of countries improving their overall ETI score. In particular, high energy-consuming countries such as China, India, South Korea, and Indonesia have made significant progress.
  • In contrast, ETI scores have plateaued over the past three years, indicating a pace of transition that needs to be faster to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • The global energy crisis has led countries to prioritize stable energy supplies, which has impacted progress.

The Big Picture: As countries grapple with the global energy crisis, the report highlights that the current situation presents an opportunity to improve the resilience of their energy systems and reduce energy intensity, potentially accelerating the global energy transition.

An inclusive and equitable global energy transition could be further facilitated by increased multilateral cooperation, with the most populous developing countries needing support to accelerate their progress.

It's also noted that over 90% of countries contributing to global emissions prioritize sustainability.

Latin America is leading the way due to its low carbon intensity and high share of clean energy.