WEF Current Affairs - 2019

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Global Energy Transition Index 2019

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 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  • The report suggests a ground of optimism regarding India despite the current outdated energy system not being ready for the transition because an enabling environment is being built to support the future transition.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.

Regional variations in the World Economic Forums Public Opinion Survey

The findings from the World Economic Forum’s public opinion survey register regional variations on the various issues. Few of them are listed below:

  • When asked how important it is for countries to work together towards a common goal, a global average of 76 per cent said they believe it is either extremely important or very important.
  • The favourable sentiments were strongly felt in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where 88 per cent share the same view. On the other hand, 61 per cent of Western Europeans and 70 per cent of North Americans said they consider cooperation to be extremely or very important.
  • When asked whether their country has a responsibility to help other countries in the world, South Asia had the highest levels of concurrence with 94 per cent answering positively compared to a global average of 72 per cent. While the North Americans and Western Europeans were the least effusive, with only 61 per cent and 63 per cent respectively answering in the affirmative.
  • At a global level, 57 per cent, said they believe that immigrants are “mostly good” for their new country. But only 40 per cent of those living in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and 46 per cent of respondents in Western Europe subscribe to the same opinion, whereas the South Asians and North Americans exclusively agreed to this.
  • Most people still believe in the power of international cooperation but they share a much less positive view of their own country when it comes to social progress. Only 20 per cent of respondents in Western Europe feel it is either extremely common or somewhat common for someone to be born poor and become rich through hard work.

These variations are attributed to the socio-economic and political reasons.