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MIT ranks nations, measuring their green future initiatives

The MIT Technology Review, in association with Kyndryl, Intel and Iris Ceramica Group, last month launched the third annual Green Future Index (GFI), measuring the progress 76 nations and territories are making towards developing a sustainable, low-carbon future for their economies and societies.

“The interactive Green Future Index 2023 measures the extent to which countries and territories are moving toward a green future by reducing carbon emissions, developing clean energy, innovating in green sectors and preserving the environment, as well as the degree to which governments are implementing effective climate policies,” they write in a statement announcing the index launch.

Among the report’s findings, they say wealth matters. “Despite notable efforts to link economic and sustainable development, emerging economies continue to fare poorly,” they continue. “Correlating rankings with GDP per capita reveals and uncomfortable truth: Wealth contributes significantly to a country’s ability to define its low-carbon future.”

That said, they add that economics alone do not define the future – 17 of the 35 countries which improved their scores in 2023 were poorer countries. In some cases, significant commitment to just one area of focus increased a country’s score.

The guide for policymakers and enterprises, entitled The Green Future Index 2023: A ranking of 76 economies on their progress and commitment toward building a low-carbon future, also discusses COP27 agreements to develop funds for loss and damages by emerging countries during climate-related disasters. “The nascent initiative aims to deepen support for poor countries through existing channels,” they write. “More significantly, the agreement represents an important step for climate justice.”

In the report’s conclusion, they point out that green leaders and most in the middle of the index rankings are motivated to help those lower in the rankings, not just for reasons of altruism, either. “Government policy mandates energy transition and carbon-reduction investments. Businesses in a globalized world of commerce are guided by carbon accountability with each passing quarter, either through ESG (environmental, social, governance) reporting requirements or demands from climate-aware customers and stakeholders,” they write. “Carbon neutrality will soon be as important a metric as profitability.”

Edited to add: Silly me. Want to know where Canada ranks? In the 14th spot, up from the 15th spot in 2022.

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