World’s energy systems struggle to go from brown to green, new study finds

Published onMarch 22, 2018

Most of the world’s energy systems have become more accessible and more secure but not any greener, a study published on Wednesday (March 14) by the World Economic Forum (WEF) found. In collaboration with advisory firm McKinsey and Company, the study, “Fostering Effective Energy Transition”, looked at the energy systems of 114 countries which accounted for more than 98 per cent of global gross domestic product, focusing on their electricity grids as well as fuels for transport and cooking.

The authors found that over the past five years global progress towards environmental sustainability has stalled. Environmental sustainability refers to how green energy systems are, particularly the electricity sector, and whether electricity production is becoming more environmentally friendly over time by steadily reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) and improving air and water pollution…

…globally, the energy system, through burning fossil fuels, is responsible for more than two-thirds of mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions. Burning coal in power stations and steel-making is by far the single largest source of CO2 that scientists say is heating up the planet. So cutting emissions, particularly from the electricity sector, will be crucial in limiting global warming.