China Current Affairs - 2019
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The Global Energy Transition index 2019 report has been released by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The index compares the energy sectors of 115 countries and analyses their readiness for energy transition. The index benchmarks the countries energy systems based on an “energy triangle”, comprised of energy security and access, economic development and growth, environmental sustainability and how well they are set-up to succeed in the future.
The index takes into account six individual indicators: capital and investment, regulation and political commitment, institutions and governance, institutions and innovative business environment, human capital and consumer participation, and energy system structure.
Global Energy Transition Index 2019
- Sweden has topped the index and is followed by Switzerland and Norway in the top three.
- China is ranked even lower than India in the 82nd position.
- The United Kingdom (UK) is ranked seventh and the UK is the only G7 economy in the top 10.
- Singapore has been ranked thirteenth, while Germany, Japan and the US have bagged the seventeenth, eighteenth and the twenty-seventh place respectively.
- Among the Asian Countries, Malaysia is ranked highest at 31st, Sri Lanka is 60th, Bangladesh 90th and Nepal 93rd.
- The report states that the world’s transition to secure, affordable and sustainable energy has stagnated, with little or no progress achieved in the past five years.
- The index notes that continued use of coal for power generation in Asia, increasing commodity prices and slower-than-needed improvements in energy intensity have contributed to this year’s stagnation in performance.
- Even though more people across the globe have access to energy, this has been offset by reduced affordability and almost no progress in making energy systems environmentally sustainable.
Where does India stand?
- India has moved up two places to rank 76th and the report states that India is amongst the countries with high pollution levels and has a relatively high CO2 intensity in its energy system.
- The report also acknowledges the significant strides made by India to improve energy access in recent years. India scores well in the area of regulation and political commitment towards energy transition.
- The report suggests a ground of optimism regarding India despite the current outdated energy system not being ready for the transition because an enabling environment is being built to support the future transition.
- India has ranked low in terms of system performance (ranking 97 and 86, respectively) and has been ranked considerably higher when it comes to readiness (45 and 61, respectively).
- India is the second best in the BRICS group of emerging economies, with Brazil being the best at 46th place globally. India is the only BRICS country to improve its rank since last year.
The Index considers both the current state of the countries’ energy system and their structural readiness to adapt to future energy needs.
Tags: Asia • Bangladesh • Brazil • BRICS • China • Germany • Global Energy Transition Index • Global Energy Transition Index 2019 • Japan • Malaysia • Nepal • Norway • Singapore • Sri Lanka • Sweden • Switzerland • UK • United Kingdom • US • WEF • World Economic Forum
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Rome, endorsing the global infrastructure-building scheme of China. Despite the warnings and pressure from the US and the Europen Union, Italy has joined the china’s mega connectivity scheme and has become the first G7 country to do so. Italy is the thirteenth European Union country and also the first from Western Europe to join China’s Belt Road Initiative.
Why did Italy join the initiative?
Italy has stated that its participation in the initiative through a non-binding agreement was aimed to “rebalance an imbalance” in Sino-Italian trade. There are a lot of ‘Made in China’ coming into Italy and too little ‘Made in Italy’ that goes into China. Italy hopes for a substantial and gradual increase in exports to balance out the trade imbalances.
The decision of Italy is seen as an attempt to address its financial woes which has onerous public debt. Italy fell into recession at the end of last year. The agreement is seen as a trade off wherein Italy needs investment and China has those to provide. The agreement will aid Italy to underpin and strengthen its business ties with China.
The paper released by the EU’s diplomatic arm referred to Belt Road Initiative as a “systemic rival” and has threatened to tighten regulations on Chinese investment in Europe.