G20 members make limited progress on decarbonisation

BloombergNEF’s fourth Zero-Carbon Policy Scoreboard for the world’s biggest economies makes for frustrating reading. Again.

smoking chimney during night

The European Union, UK and US all retained their position as leaders in the net zero transition. France and Germany scored 71%, the EU overall 68%, and Italy 64%. 

Lagging behind its continental counterparts, the UK was rated at 63%, although it scored significantly higher on energy and power. The US placed sixth, with just 60%, faring slightly better than Japan, Canada and South Korea. Combined, the G20 accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The numbers are cast in sharp relief when compared with the previous report, published in 2023. On average, countries registered just 1% improvement on the last year. Worse still, the highest ranking countries and blocs actually saw an average of 1% decline in Zero-Carbon scoreboard.

For the UK, the decline was actually 2%, a result of consecutive setbacks including extending the deadline for banning the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles, and a delay on new regulations relating to energy performance and heating systems. Tellingly, the country scored just 52% for its built environment, significantly lower than all European countries in the top positions.

In November, Environment Journal reported on the second annual 3Keel and Kingspan Global Retrofit Index. According to this analysis, based on current trajectories all G20 countries will fail to meet their net zero targets as a result of built environment emissions. It also pointed to the Netherlands as a world leader in retrofitting to improve energy efficiency of structures, with emissions from buildings plummeting by 36% since 2020 thanks to a concerted drive to upgrade materials, fabric, and heating systems.

More on net zero:

Human rights violated by climate inaction, European court rules

Your Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive checklist

UK banks can now assess ESG within their supply chains

Image: koushik das


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top