Carbon neutrality: Norway tops the first 'Net Zero Readiness Index'

  • Climate
  • Friday, 12 Nov 2021

The Alabaster cliffs near Fecamp, Normandy, France. France is ranked sixth in the Net Zero Readiness Index 2021, thanks to its energy mix (notably with nuclear and wind power), as well as the development of hydrogen-powered transport. Photo: AFP

A new index, unveiled at the opening of the COP26 climate summit, ranks 32 developed countries according to their readiness to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Norway tops the list, ahead of Britain and Sweden.

The Net Zero Readiness Index 2021 measures the preparedness of 32 G20 countries to address climate challenges in the transition to Net Zero. This new tool was developed by the KPMG Impact platform, which helps companies build new models around economic, environmental and societal issues.

The six top-ranking countries are all in Europe. Their scores were awarded in relation to 103 indicators that KPMG considers as key drivers to achieving Net Zero, as per the World Resources Institute definition of the term.

The indicators encompass national preparedness and sector readiness, taking in countries' decarbonisation objectives, past performance and efforts made in the most emitting sectors (energy, transport, construction and agriculture).

At the top of the ranking, Norway has the highest score on national policies and an "enabling environment" for decarbonisation, and comes first in the transport sector category.

Considered the "world leader in adopting electric vehicles", the Nordic country also has the largest number of clean technology companies in the industry sector, as well as the largest share of investment and planned capacity for carbon capture and storage.

Britain comes in second place thanks to its "largely decarbonised" electricity production (with coal-fired electricity production scheduled to end in 2024). Britain's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 was announced Oct 19 by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, less than two weeks before the opening of COP26.

Sweden, Denmark and Germany – ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively – are considered the other countries best equipped to achieve carbon neutrality. France comes in sixth place thanks to its energy mix (notably with nuclear and wind power), as well as the development of hydrogen-powered transport.

The report also salutes the French government's attempt to engage citizens in decision-making, notably with the Convention Citoyenne pour le Climat, or citizens' convention on climate.

This group of 150 randomly chosen adults, assisted by experts, met between Oct 2019 and June 2020 to draw up plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Ultimately, only around 30% of the group's 146 propositions were included in the country's new climate legislation. – AFP Relaxnews

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