SINGAPORE – The World Economic Forum ranked Singapore ahead of all Asian countries in its Energy Transition Index (ETI) 2021 that reflects the progress towards a more inclusive, sustainable, affordable and secure energy system.

The index that benchmarks 115 countries also assesses their readiness to energy transition and the current performance of energy systems across the three dimensions of the energy triangle: economic development and growth, environmental sustainability, and energy security and access indicators.

This year’s report used a revised ETI methodology, which takes into account recent changes in the global energy landscape and the increasing urgency of climate change action.

Singapore placed 21st globally – ahead of major economies like the US and Canada.

Nordic countries – Sweden, Norway and Denmark – maintained their leading positions on the ETI, driven by strong progress in environmental sustainability.

China ranked 68th while Singapore’s immediate neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia came at 39 and 71.

Among the world’s 10 largest economies, only the United Kingdom and France featured in the top 10 on the index.

The ETI report showed that 92 economies made progress over the period between 2012 and 2021.

However, only 68 have improved their scores by more than two percentage points.

Large emerging centres of demand such as China and India have seen strong improvements. Meanwhile, scores in Brazil, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and Turkey held relatively stable.

In fact, only 13 countries have made steady gains – defined as consistently above-average performance improvements on the ETI.

This demonstrates the difficulty of sustaining progress and the inherent complexity of the energy transition, the report said.

The aggregate score for Singapore has remained consistent over the past six years, demonstrating the strength of the energy system, WEF said in a separate statement.

Still, Singapore plays a significant role in the global energy system, as a major refining hub and emerging centre of global LNG trade. The fossil fuel industry is a major economic driver in Singapore, it noted.

The ETI report said that while the top performers on the index represent different pathways to energy transition, they all share common attributes. These include low levels of fossil fuel subsidies, enhanced energy security from a diversity of fuel mix and import partners, improving carbon intensity, reduced dependence on fossil fuels in the energy mix, and a strong regulatory environment to drive the transition.

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In the next decade, consistent, accelerated progress is key to meeting the world’s climate targets as well as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the report said.

The CO2 intensity has remained broadly flat since 2010, suggesting continued dependence on high-carbon energy sources and inertia from legacy energy infrastructure.

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