The Green Growth Index measures a country’s performance in achieving sustainability targets, including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Paris Climate Agreement, and Aichi Biodiversity Targets. It consists of four green growth dimensions, including efficient and sustainable resource use, natural capital protection, green economic opportunities, and social inclusion. The Green Growth Index scores range from 1 to 100, classifying 1-20 as very low, 20-40 as low, 40-60 as moderate, 60-80 as high, and 80-100 as very high green growth performance. The highest score of 100 indicates that sustainability targets were achieved because the green growth indicators were benchmarked against these targets. The 40 green growth indicators in this fourth edition of the Green Growth Index were reviewed and validated to be policy relevant by over a hundred experts from 2019 to 2021.
In the following years, the experts will continue to review the green growth indicators to replace proxy variables with SDG indicators and to fill in the eight missing indicators for green economic opportunities due to a need for more data. Twenty-nine out of the 40 indicators are from the SDGs. The data sources for the indicators were published online by international organizations. Analysis of the databases downloaded from these sources in 2021 and 2022 showed some degree of divergences for some indicators in several countries. For this reason, the Index scores published in this report are not directly comparable with those in the 2021 Green Growth Index Report.
03. Regional Outlook
The regional distribution of the 147 country scores are 39 countries in Africa, 22 countries in the Americas, 41 countries in Asia, 38 countries in Europe, and four countries in Oceania. The Green Growth Index scores in the five African subregions, i.e., Eastern, Middle, Northern, Southern, and Western, were moderate, ranging between 42.40 and 52.15 in 2021. Between 2010 and 2021, the score gain was highest for social inclusion, particularly in Northern Africa, with at least 7 points increase. The Americas and its four subregions, including the Caribbean, Central America, Northern America, and South America, also showed moderate scores between 54.37 and 60.89 in 2021. But the most significant score increase was in green economic opportunities, with a 4.43 score gain in the Caribbean from 2010 to 2021. The subregions of Central, Eastern, South-eastern, Southern, and Western Asia scored between 42.51 to 57.06 on the Green Growth Index in 2021. Green economic opportunities also showed the most significant score gain, as high as 9 points in Eastern Asia. Europe’s Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western subregions performed best on the Green Growth Index, with high scores that range from 63.93 to 71.12 in 2021. Europe’s gain in the score is highest in natural capital protection, with Western Europe increasing by 7.78 points in this dimension between 2010 and 2021. Data for green economic opportunities indicators remains insufficient in many Oceania countries, with Green Growth Index scores available only for Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga. The scores for these Oceania countries ranged from 50 and 60 in 2021, with Australia gaining the highest score of about 5.5 in natural capital protection and social inclusion from 2010. Overall, social inclusion scores across all regions have risen from 2010 to 2021, particularly in many developing countries like Asia and Africa.
Looking into regional economic groups, including the European Union (EU), North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the EU scored the highest in Green Growth Index, mainly due to its high performance in natural capital protection and very high performance in social inclusion. However, with an overall score of about 70, the EU’s performance remained in the moderate range in 2021. NAFTA had a slightly higher score than the EU in green economic opportunities due to higher scores for green employment in the United States of America and Canada. MERCOSUR and ASEAN remained to have moderate scores from 2010 to 2021, with ASEAN’s scores in social inclusion lagging behind those of MERCOSUR. COMESA and SAARC were the leastperforming economic groups with low scores in the last decade.
The 2022 Green Growth Index features Zambia’s national Green Growth Index. The GGGI supports the Government of Zambia through a collaborative project to benchmark the country’s green growth performance and establishes its readiness to transition to a green economy growth model using GGGI’s Green Growth Performance Measurement (GGPM) framework and tools, including the Green Growth Index. The Zambia Green Growth Index includes 80 green growth indicators, which were identified by experts from government, non-government, and academic institutions as policy-relevant for the country. The indicators were aligned with the green growth framework, representing 20 indicators (5 for every four pillars) in each dimension. Of the 80 indicators, 34 are part of the global Green Growth Index (i.e., this report), including 11 in efficient and sustainable resource use, 10 in natural capital protection, 3 in green economic opportunities, and 10 in social inclusion. And 45 are SDG indicators, with 8 in efficient and sustainable resource use, 13 in natural capital protection, 8 in green economic opportunities, and 16 in social inclusion. The indicators that are SDGs and no sustainability targets, the experts agreed to use the top five performers among developing countries instead of global to benchmark Zambia’s green growth performance.
Zambia’s national Green Growth Index showed a moderate score in 2021. It scored very high in GHG emissions reduction and high in gender balance, environmental quality, efficient and sustainable energy, and waste and material use efficiency. However, its performance in green trade was very low, and green employment was low. The trend in Green Growth Index scores increased from 2010 to 2021, with social inclusion and green economic opportunities mainly contributing to this development. The Zambian experts identified opportunities to improve the country’s green growth performance further. For example, in green trade, the Zambian experts emphasized diversifying their export base because extracting and exporting copper is not sustainable. Moreover, they considered it essential to evaluate trade barriers, improve exports’ added value, and impose product standards. In green employment, local skills development in light manufacturing presents an opportunity for jobs. Youth unemployment is very high, so local innovation technologies must be exploited to create jobs. The renewable energy and eco-tourism sectors could provide employment opportunities. Other opportunities related to innovation were also identified. With the government’s plan to gradually expand irrigated areas throughout the country to boost agricultural production and productivity, water use efficiency could be enhanced by introducing affordable water-saving technologies and infrastructures, e.g., harvest rainfall. Moreover, while productivity is essential, it is also crucial to consider adopting new practices such as climate-smart and organic agriculture, which need proper education and training as well as change in farmers’ lifestyles.
07. Statistical Tables
In addition to the Zambia Green Growth Index, the GGPM framework and tools were applied to different projects. The Green Growth Simulation Tool (GGSim), which is closely linked to the Green Growth Index, was applied to the Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso and to the Green Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE) in Senegal to assess the SDG co-benefits of the policy interventions in these policy documents. The SDG indicators included in the co-benefit assessments include SDG 7.3.1 energy intensity level of primary energy supply and SDG 7.2.1 renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption for the energy sector, SDG 6.4.1 water use efficiency, SDG 6.4.2 level of water stress, and SDG 6.3.1 proportion of wastewater safely treated for the water and waste sector, SDG 12.3.1 food loss and food waste and SDG 15.3.1 nutrient balance per unit area for the agriculture sector, SDG 15.1.1 forest area as a percent of total land area, SDG 15.2.1 above-ground biomass stock in the forest, and SDG 15.3.1 proportion of (forest) land that is degraded over the total land area for the forest sector. The SDG coverage for the assessment will be expected to increase in upcoming projects with the development of the framework for applying network science tools to complement GGSim’s system dynamics models.
Other ongoing applications of the GGPM framework and tools include the development of the national Green Growth Index for Lao PDR and Qatar in collaboration with government partners. A collaborative project with the ADB was initiated last year to assess Azerbaijan and Central Asian countries’ inclusive and green growth transition. Across the Central Asian subregion, governments recognize the urgent need to reduce fiscal dependency on oil revenues and diversify the economy by finding new drivers of non-oil growth to achieve macroeconomic stability and more sustainable development. A central question of interest for the ADB is to take stock of the ongoing efforts towards green growth and the opportunities, challenges, and options for Azerbaijan and selected Central Asian countries as they move towards a net zero economy.