Big powers want to dominate the green economy

Windmills, villages and trees sway in the fog in Shangdong Village, Suqian City, Jiangsu Province, China. (CFOTO/Future Release/Getty Images)

We compare the key measures the planet’s five largest economies are trying to take on the future of environmental change.

Climate change is a reality that will force profound reforms on the economies of the world’s major powers. And these reforms are not only explained by their humanitarian concern. As the United States has achieved through the digital revolution, states also want to become green superpowers that lead tomorrow’s technologies. And, for them, there is no time to waste.

The best way to appreciate this competition is to identify the three sectors in which it began to fight (energy transition and clean innovation and emissions reduction) and the main movements in the five largest global economies. States, China, European Union, India and Japan.

Energy transition and green innovation

One way to assess progress in this area is to observe the increasing weight of energy production from renewable sources and nuclear power compared to fossil fuels such as oil, gas or coal.

In this sense, according to careful ranking Green Future Index Dell MIT, neither the US nor China nor Japan nor India nor the largest economies in the European Union (Germany, France, Italy, Spain) stand out among the ten most committed countries to the energy transition. Regarding clean innovation (this is best expressed, for example, in the number of ‘green’ patents or in investment Food Technology) of China and the four major European economies, only France stands out in the MIT ranking. Seven of the ten leaders in clean innovation are from the EU: Finland, Iceland, Holland, Sweden, Norway, France and Belgium.

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According to A recent report by the World Economic Forum, the United States is the only major superpower to significantly expand its renewable generation capacity, while Japan in Asia and Italy in the European Union stand out in reducing it. In the energy efficiency chapter, the meager progress of China, Italy and India is surprising.

Undoubtedly, the biggest step the US has taken in the energy transition is the IRA legislative action in 2022, which includes nearly $370 billion in clean technologies and investments to decarbonize the economy. On the other hand, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 will allow a portion of its budget to renew power lines, improve energy efficiency, and improve the electrification and mobility of buildings.

Meanwhile, the EU established a binding target of 42.5% share of renewable energy by 2030 in March this year. Major renewable sources such as integrated wind and solar power have already accounted for last year. .

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