G20 Zero-Carbon Policy scoreboard: Which nations are top of the class for progress on decarbonisation?

BloombergNEF’s latest G20 Zero-Carbon Policy Scoreboard takes stock of how the 20 largest economies are progressing in the race to net zero.
April 18, 2024
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Growth in renewable energy offset by increase in energy demand

The latest edition of BloombergNEF’s annual G20 Zero Carbon Policy scoreboard has shown how countries rank based on their progress towards decarbonisation. The study of the world’s 20 largest economies has found that while EU member states, the UK and the US continue to lead, their scores (with the exception of France) have slipped year on year. Overall G20 nations scored an average of 49%, an increase of just 1 percentage point compared with 2023[i].

BNEF gave each country a score out of a total of 100%, using metrics including the volume of government support implemented to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the robustness of these programs and the policy-making process, alongside other measures to assess whether change is in fact happening on the ground. Reasons for top-ranking nations seeing a reduction in scores this year included an increase in uncertainty among consumers, industry and investors, delayed information on new policies, weakening of low-carbon policies, a slowdown in on-the-ground progress such as construction of renewables, and other challenges including political and industry opposition and red tape. Others were more specific policy changes, such as Germany scrapping its purchase subsidies for electric vehicles[ii].


Figure one: “Europe leads the G20 on quantity and quality of low-carbon policy, but overall members of the group have made limited progress since last year”.

Source: BloombergNEF[iii]

In a blog post on the report BNEF said:

“The European Union, UK and US retained the top spots. But these high scorers failed to improve their performance from last year, in fact seeing an average decline of 1 percentage point. As developed economies responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, they should lead by example, in particular to encourage emerging markets to follow suit.”[iv]

UK accused of ‘going backwards’ on energy security

The report from BNEF shows a drop of 2 percentage points year on year for the UK, naming policy setbacks, such as the decision to postpone the deadline for phasing out new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle sales to 2035, and delays in implementing stricter regulations on energy performance certificates and boiler bans, as reasons the UK’s progress has stalled[v].

At the same time BNEF’s research was released, think tank ECIU (Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit) warned that the UK is ‘going backwards’ in terms of energy security, following their analysis of progress on commitments made to boost the UK’s energy security. Assessing the 10 point plan made in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine- the British Energy Security Strategy[vi], ECIU discovered that just 3 out of the 10 pledges have been met.


[i] G-20 Members’ Climate Policy Progress Stalls | BloombergNEF (bnef.com)

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Ibid

[v] BNEF (bbhub.io)

[vi] British Energy Security Strategy (publishing.service.gov.uk)

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Lauren Foye
Head of Reports

Lauren has extensive experience as an analyst and market researcher in the digital technology and travel sectors. She has a background in researching and forecasting emerging technologies, with a particular passion for the Videogames and eSports industries. She joined the Critical Information Group as Head of Reports and Market Research at GRC World Forums, and leads the content and data research team at the Zero Carbon Academy. “What drew me to the academy is the opportunity to add content and commentary around sustainability across a wealth of industries and sectors.”

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