The UK takes first place in a new energy efficiency ranking of the world’s largest economies, followed closely by Germany, Italy, and Japan. The results were based on the very first International Energy Efficiency Scorecard published by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The ACEEE evaluated the 12 major global economies and ranked them based on how efficiently they use energy. The 12 economies included in the report: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Collectively, these economies represent over “78 percent of global gross domestic product; 63 percent of global energy consumption; and 62 percent of the global carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions.”
The largest worldwide economies were evaluated across 27 metrics. “These metrics are divided roughly in half between evaluation of quantifiable results and policies. The “policy metrics” are evaluated based on the presence of a best practice policy while “performance metrics” measure energy use and provide quantifiable results. The metrics span across the three primary sectors responsible for energy consumption in an economically developed country: buildings, industry, and transportation.” The scorecard results were as follows:
1. United Kingdom
6. 3-way TIE – European Union, Australia and China
For major categories, the United Kingdom was tops in national energy use and industry while China placed first in buildings. Germany, Italy, China and the U.K. were tied in the transportation category.
In the ACEEE press release, ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel said: “The UK and the leading economies of Europe are now well ahead of the United States when it comes to energy efficiency. This is significant because countries that use energy more efficiently require fewer resources to achieve the same goals, thus reducing costs, preserving valuable natural resources, and creating jobs. Unfortunately, our results show that nowhere is the vast potential for improvements in energy efficiency being completely realized. While many countries achieved notable success, none received a perfect score in any category – proving that there is much that all countries can still learn from each other. For example, the United States scored relatively high in buildings, but was at the bottom of the list in transportation.”
With Canada ranking second to last on the list, I’m disappointed by the results for my country. Based on the graph it’s clear that there is still a lot of room for improvement across the globe. Let’s hope that each nation evaluates their energy efficiency ranking and related policies, and takes steps to reduce consumption by closing the gap of untapped opportunity.
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