MIT Green Future Index 2023: Iceland leads, emerging markets catch up

Nodrics lead, major developed markets lag behind and emerging markets are catching up

Iceland landscape

Author: House of Eden

  • Iceland tops MIT Green Future Index 2023 as emerging markets catch up
  • Wealth correlates with the ability to define a low-carbon future
  • Economic dependence on fossil fuels leads to lower ranks

Published annually by MIT Technology Review Insights Green Futures Index (GFI) provides an overview of 76 countries and their progress towards a sustainable, low-carbon future. Iceland remains at the top of the index in 2023, followed by Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Germany in 11th place, behind England, France and Spain. South Korea was the only non-European country to make it into the Green Leaders Top 10 at number 8. While many other industrialized countries are making slow progress. The United States improved from 20th place to only 19th place.

Emerging markets are catching up

Despite many challenges, emerging markets have made remarkable progress. For example, in 2023 Argentina and Indonesia had the largest gains of any country, up 20 and 21 spots respectively, and are now 48th and 49th respectively. South Africa and Uruguay improved their rankings significantly, and Costa Rica remains the top-ranked emerging country at 24th place.

Prosperity and climate goals - a complex relationship

The analysis shows that wealth plays an essential role in a country's ability to define its low-carbon future. An economic dependency on the production of fossil fuels often leads to lower ranks. Australia is an example of a country struggling to move away from a high-carbon economy, climbing 10 spots to rank 42.

The Green Future Index 2023 serves as an essential guide for policymakers and businesses to address climate change challenges and promote a sustainable future for all. It clearly shows that despite some progress, much remains to be done.

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