Switzerland's energy system is one of the best in the world, but it is not doing so well on emission reduction targets, says a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) published on Wednesday.
The Fostering Effective Energy Transition report ranks 114 countries on “how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability”. Switzerland is ranked third overall, after Sweden and Norway.
Performing less well are the United Kingdom (7th place), France (9), Germany (16), the United States (25), Brazil (38), Russia (70), China (76) and India (78).
The WEF’s key finding this year is not optimistic. It says that worldwide progress towards environmental sustainability has stalled, as demonstrated by a near-flat trend in carbon intensity. Marginal improvement has occurred at only 1.8% a year over the past five years, whereas 3% is the threshold required to achieve the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
The report also says that household electricity prices have risen in real terms in more than half the countries since 2013, despite an overall fall in fuel prices.
But there are also encouraging developments, the study points out. These include the fact that 80% of countries have improved their energy systems over the past five years.
Among the reasons for Switzerland's excellent ranking, the WEF points to the quality of transport infrastructure, availability of technology, energy subsidies, investment in energy efficiency and the quality of the education system.
In Switzerland, two-thirds of electricity is generated by hydropower. Swiss voters last year endorsed a new energy law that aims to promote renewable energy, ban new nuclear power plants and lower energy consumption.