The results from the new 2018 Global Green Economy Index™ (GGEI) are online. This 6th edition covers 130 countries (up from 80 in the 2016 edition). Like in past years, the GGEI is an integrated measurement of how each country performs around climate change, sector decarbonization, green market development and the environment. The GGEI was the first green economy index, launched in 2010.
Download and learn from the GGEI data: key takeaways
This year it is possible to review, share and download the aggregate data of 2018 results for 130 countries of the latest GGEI. This facilitates learning from the data this product generates.
- Sweden is the top GGEI performer for the 3rd straight edition, joined by the other Nordics, Switzerland, Germany and France in the top 10. Taiwan and Singapore are the top performers in Asia; Colombia and Costa Rica in Latin America; and Kenya in Africa.
- Renewable energy investment (China) and green innovation (United States) are still strong, but both countries continue to have mediocre overall GGEI results due to their slow pace of sector decarbonization, poor air quality (China), and poor forest management (United States).
- Corporate sustainability initiatives are surging in the U.S. and Western Europe, but the GGEI detected limited evidence that they are mainstreamed in the rest of the world, with the exception of Japan and Australia.
- The GGEI results across the European Union continue to be uneven, with the top GGEI performers counterbalanced by poor results in the Baltic states, Bulgaria and Poland.
- Rapidly growing Asian markets like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines do not perform well on the GGEI, a well-established trend that highlights the limits of GDP as a growth metric.
- Many countries in Africa are relatively low carbon intensity economies with higher than average contributions of renewable energy, but these factors rarely translate to good performance on other areas of the GGEI like building efficiency, transportation or the environment.
- The Netherlands ranks 17th on the GGEI.
Green economy understanding and improvement
The GGEI methodology draws from guidelines published through the OECD Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a green economy is “low-carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive.” The best approach to improving a country performance is for leaders in-country to get serious about green economic growth by focusing on making sectors more resource efficient, managing their environment and natural capital and channeling the necessary public and private capital to achieve these goals. The GGEI also measures perceptions of country performance in the green economy. Understanding perceptions is particularly important to illuminate gaps in understanding about green economy and its different components, as well as to show where communications can be utilized to advance green economic growth.
GGEI is used to benchmark performance, communicate areas that need improvement, and show diverse stakeholders how they too can promote progress. The GGEI is particularly relevant today as countries aiming to realize new emission reduction and sustainable development goals will require data and insight to identify the best pathways to a low carbon economy.