Qatar has topped the Middle East and North Africa region, securing 53rd rank among 115 countries globally in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Energy Transition Index (ETI) that tracks the energy systems of nations across various aspects.
In the report published in collaboration with the global professional service company Accenture, Qatar leads on the economic development and growth component, supported by the strong role played by the domestic energy sector.
The report draws on insights from the ETI 2021, which benchmarks 115 countries on the current performance of their energy systems across the three dimensions of the energy triangle namely economic development and growth, environmental sustainability, and energy security and access indicators and their readiness to transition to secure, sustainable, affordable, and inclusive energy systems.
As more countries embark on their net-zero journeys, the demand for fossil fuels is projected to decline, which might create economic growth challenges for resource-dependent countries. The dip in oil and gas demand, and resulting price volatilities, during the COVID-19, are a reminder of the need to diversify the economy.
The 10th edition of the report uses a revised ETI methodology, which takes into account recent changes in the global energy landscape and the increasing urgency of climate change action. Globally, Sweden leads the ETI for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Norway and Denmark and regionally, Qatar ranks first, followed by the UAE and Morocco, while Saudi Arabia remains 8th among its Arab neighbors.
Even though the overall scores in the MENA region fell last year, the trajectory remains moderately positive. The economic and energy system diversification strategies can improve prospects.
Several countries in the region have set out ambitious renewables targets for 2030 and WEF noted that the coming decade brings opportunities to invest in an energy transition that can unlock significant cross-system benefits.
“As we enter into the decade of action and delivery on climate change, the focus must also encompass speed and resilience of the transition. With the energy transition moving beyond the low-hanging fruit, sustained incremental progress will be more challenging due to the evolving landscape of risks to the energy transition.”
The 2021 edition of the report shows that 92 out of 115 countries tracked on the ETI increased their aggregate score over the past 10 years, which affirms the positive direction and steady momentum of the global energy transition.
The report shows that eight out of the 10 largest economies have pledged net-zero goals by mid-century. The annual global investment in the energy transition surpassed $500 billion for the first time in 2020, despite the pandemic.