Understanding which country has made the most fruitful efforts which could help towards sustainability

She calls herself Confused Genius and reads Gangster books with a Children's book bookmark in them. Mostly, she can be found listening to people if not reading. Also, she always closes the tap while brushing her teeth!

Every year there is a discussion about which all countries are working towards the development of sustainable energy resources and increasing their usage while reducing the dependence on the usual fossil fuels. India for one has been receiving accolades around the world for its continuous progress towards employing cleaner and greener energy.

However, sustainability doesn’t entail just a mindless shift to using cleaner energy. We need to understand that just because something is green and eco-friendly, it doesn’t have to be sustainable too. 

It was to make this distinction clearer and to make sure that the nations work towards the right direction of achieving sustainability through greener means, the World Energy Council devised and ranked the 128 major countries across the world on its Energy Trilemma Index. 

The Three Parameters

The World Energy Council used Equity, Sustainability and Security as the three major factors. These three are described as under

Energy Security:

This parameter defines the ability of a nation to meet not just the present but also the energy demands of the future generation reliably without any major hiccups. Higher the availability of energy resources, higher would be the security index. This parameter also takes energy management and infrastructure development into consideration as the definitive measurement for future availability

Energy Equity:

This parameter defines the ability of the nation to fulfill the energy needs of all the people who inhabit it, irrespective of their socio-economic class. This dimension includes the basic access to electricity, clean cooking fuel and basic technologies which involve usage of any form of energy.

Environmental Sustainability:

The last but one of the very critical factors, this dimension entails the level of effort being put in and the results achieved in switching over to cleaner energy forms or any kind of energy saving effort which the country has or is putting in.

How is the Ranking Done?

A country is ranked over the three aforementioned parameters and a total score is then calculated. 

However, some results have been surprising. Some of them are mentioned below:

  1. USA with its high carbon emissions and footprints stands at 15th globally 
  2. The Saudi Arabia, powered with a score of 98 on the energy equity index stands 78th globally
  3. China, again due to its higher energy equity index stands 72nd globally, way above India
  4. India with its concurrent improvements ranks 104th globally- mostly due to it doing poorly on energy equity and security

The top 3 spots are taken by Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark with respective scores of 85.8, 85.2 and 84.7 while the last 5 are the sub-Saharan nations

What does it mean?

This ranking could be an eye opener for many countries but to say that this would be “the ranking” to go by would be a bit far fetched. The rankings come with their set of flaws of course given the fact that the developed nations as well as the developing ones are being ranked at the same pedestal.

Another thing that could be pointed here is the fact that the scores across the three parameters are more or less averaged out with no stark differences in the weightages given to the three parameters.

A well defined difference and set of priority could set the rankings and goals more realistic.

However, this is just the beginning. That a step has been taken is good enough. Maybe few months down the line, we will have something concrete to look at. Till then, well begun is half done!!

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