Germany, China, Spain and the United Kingdom lead the world’s wealthiest nations in the push for renewable energy, according to a new report on Tuesday.
Iinternational non-profit association Climate Group has compiled rankings of G20 countries based on both ambition and progress.
Modest climbers included Australia, India, the United States and Japan, while Canada and Brazil fared poorly, despite current high use of renewable electricity. Saudi Arabia and Russia occupy the last places on the list.
“What we have recognized at The Climate Group for several years is the importance of the political environment to enable rapid action on renewable energy,” Mike Peirce, executive director of systems change, told AFP. organisation.
The report – released during the annual Climate Week in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly – is designed for a group of 380 leading companies, called the RE100 companies, who have committed to becoming 100 % renewable.
Twenty countries, including Spain as a permanent guest of the G20, received grades from A to E.
Areas reviewed included net zero targets, renewable energy target ambition, share of renewables in total installed capacity in 2021, and renewable capacity additions in 2021.
Spain, which scored an A, was praised for committing to “one of the most ambitious renewable energy policies in the European Union”, all new additions of electricity capacity to the over the past decade from green energy.
Renewables accounted for 21% of Spain’s total final energy consumption in 2020, exceeding its target of 20%, with plans to increase it to 43% by 2030 and 97% by 2050 when should achieve its goal of climate neutrality.
India, which scored a C, ranks fourth in the world for installed renewable energy capacity with 158 gigawatts – but although there are key signs of ambition from the central government, the report cites high capital costs and grid connection challenges as significant headwinds.
Brazil and Canada were branded “laggards”, both receiving D’s despite an abundance of hydropower, with the report urging greater diversification as severe droughts have put future energy production at risk.
The percentage of renewable energy in Canada’s total final energy consumption has fallen slightly from 25.8% in 2009 to less than 25% at the end of 2019. Although Canada is aiming for net zero d ‘by 2050, there is a lack of intermediate dates for checkpoints along the way.
To do better, countries need to establish strong roadmaps with key milestones, implement financing solutions to build investor confidence.
“As Europe bends under the weight of the energy crisis, its leaders regret not having moved more quickly from fossil fuels. They must not lock themselves into other harmful emissions,” Peirce said.