One Third of Countries Show Promising Gains in Low Carbon Economic Growth Since the Copenhagen Climate Accord
21/ 04/ 2010

One Third of Countries Show Promising Gains in Low Carbon Economic Growth Since the Copenhagen Climate Accord Seoul, South Korea - The 2010 Climate Competitiveness Index, the most comprehensive study to date of national progress to create green jobs and economic growth through low carbon products and services, shows that in spite of uncertainty surrounding international climate negotiations, countries have forged ahead with low carbon growth strategies in the first quarter of 2010.

The annual Climate Competitiveness Index (CCI), produced by the independent non-profit institute AccountAbility, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), combines two sets of data.

It investigates "Climate Accountability" to validate if a country's climate strategy is clear, ambitious and supported by stakeholders, as well as "Climate Performance," considering each country's capabilities and track record on delivering its strategy.

The Index analysed 95 countries responsible for 97 per cent of global economic activity and 96 per cent of global carbon emissions.

It concludes that despite gaps in performance and accountability, 46 per cent of countries have demonstrated some improvement in climate accountability since the UNFCCC Copenhagen conference in December 2009.

Thirty two countries have made significant improvements, with Germany, China and the Republic of Korea being the outstanding examples. India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and Rwanda have also enhanced their climate accountability.

"This report comes as a breath of fresh air," said Alex MacGillivray, Managing Director at AccountAbility.

"The CCI shows that countries at all levels of development can develop political leadership, stronger institutions and engaging with stakeholders to deliver climate competitiveness. Climate competitiveness is no longer rhetoric. It is a real, massive and dynamic economic frontier. This latest analysis proves that governments are seizing opportunities for Green Growth and making significant strides to tackle the climate crisis."

He added, "The Climate Competitiveness Index is the essential guide to understanding opportunities - and accountability - in the multi-trillion dollar low carbon economy of the new decade."

Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Japan and France show the most consistent progress on combining accountability and performance. Switzerland and Austria are strong on performance, while the UK and USA are strong on accountability. The Republic of Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia are developing good strategies and the BASIC nations (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) are progressing towards climate competitiveness.

The CCI predicts that the global market for low carbon products and services will be in excess of US$2 trillion in 2020.

However, to secure this market, countries need ambitious climate competitiveness strategies, as well as the institutional infrastructure to build markets and convince investors.

The report underscores the importance of the business sector. It concludes that business must play a proactive role in promoting climate competitiveness.

Countries that perform well on the CCI have a critical mass of firms managing, reporting on and reducing their emissions - whilst aggressively growing portfolios of low carbon products and services.

"Releasing this report at this year's Business for the Environment Summit in Seoul, attended by hundreds of political, business and civil society leaders, is a tribute to the many individuals who play a critical role in building the new Green Economy," commented Hee Ryung Lee, Lead Analyst at AccountAbility.

"This survey proves that the most progressive countries are purposefully and carefully nurturing business as part of their strategy towards enduring low carbon growth."

The CCI demonstrates that the best national performers have a coherent institutional framework of low carbon support for business, including chambers of commerce, stock exchanges, investment agencies, government departments and NGOs dedicated to green growth.

The investment promotion agency in Finland, the Presidential Office in the Republic of Korea and Kenya's Green Energy Foundation are three examples of institutions supporting climate competitiveness.

The CCI indicates that there is no single blueprint or pathway to climate competitiveness. Countries and regions are pursuing distinctive climate strategies based on national priorities and capabilities.

As examples, Bolivia, Ghana, Vietnam and Bangladesh all demonstrate strong citizen concern coupled with limited business engagement.

Emerging economies like Brazil and the Philippines enjoy strong government leadership. In other cases, leadership is evident in the business community, for example in Scandinavia and Singapore.

For more information contact:
Alex MacGillivray, Managing Director, AccountAbility, mobile phone +0044 7825634002 or alex@accountability.org
Nick Nuttall UNEP Spokesperson and Head of Media, +41 795 965 737 or +254 733632755, or nick.nuttall@unep.org

Notes to Editors
Download the Climate Competitiveness Index 2010 and view supporting materials at www.climatecompetitiveness.org

The Climate Competitiveness Index 2010 is the largest and most systematic effort to gauge how countries around the world are placed to succeed in the low carbon economy.

It combines indicators that are already available in the public domain with new data generated by AccountAbility to provide insight into 95 countries, responsible for 97 percent of global economic activity and 96 percent of carbon dioxide emissions.

'The annual Climate Competitiveness Index (CCI) combines two sets of data' on climate accountability (the climate strategy is clear, ambitious, and supported by all stakeholders) and climate performance (the country has the track record and capabilities to deliver the strategy). Each dimension has four domains and 13 variables.

The 2010 CCI does not apply different measures or weightings to countries at different levels of development, or to differentiate Annex-1 and Non-Annex 1 countries.

The CCI 2010 does not combine the scores of the two dimensions into a single league table for this inaugural version of the index.

Further Resources
UNEP Green Economy Initiative
Climate Competitiveness Index website
The Climate Competitiveness Index 2010: National progress in the low carbon economy