The World’s Energy Systems Are Far Away From Being Environmentally Sustainable, Warns World Energy Council/Oliver Wyman Report

A growing environmentally sustainable energy gap threatens global economic growth and a transition to a more low-carbon future, according to a global ranking of countries’ energy sustainability released today by the World Energy Council and Oliver Wyman at the COP 18 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar.

The World Energy Council/Oliver Wyman Energy Sustainability Index shows that most of over 90 countries assessed are still far away from achieving fully sustainable energy systems at a time when the supply of environmentally sustainable energy lags significantly behind rapidly rising demand globally. The World Energy Trilemma refers to the struggle that governments face in providing energy that is secure, affordable, and environmentally-sound.

Mark Robson, Partner of Oliver Wyman and a report author, says:"We have a real problem here. We’re taking too long to create the environment needed to develop sustainable energy systems. Energy policymakers and the industry urgently need to work together to make the hard decisions necessary build the infrastructure needed today to support sustainable energy systems which are crucial for future economic growth.”

“Businesses must be assured that the economics of their investments won’t be destroyed by changes in energy policy. This policy risk is a key factor holding back energy investments today."

Pierre Gadonneix, Chairman of the World Energy Council, says:“The message of the Energy Sustainability Index is clear: all countries are facing challenges in their transition towards more secure, environmentally-friendly, and equitable energy systems. If we are to have any chance of delivering sustainable energy for all and meeting the +2oc goal, we need to get real.”

Joan MacNaughton, Executive Chair of the World Energy Trilemma report, says:“Much still needs to be done to make our energy systems sustainable, but there is good news. As our Energy Sustainability Index shows, countries that use a larger share of low-carbon energy such as renewables and nuclear as part of a diversified energy mix tend to perform better.”

Key report findings include:
  • No country is a world leader in providing secure, affordable, and environmentally-sound energy
  • The top 10 performing countries in the WEC/OW energy sustainability index are Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Denmark, Japan, France and Austria, respectively. However, even top performers face challenges
  • Encouraging environmentally-sound energy remains a universal problem
  • Providing high-quality and affordable energy access remains a significant challenge for developing and emerging economies
  • Countries at various stages of development struggle with energy security
  • The United States ranks 12 th in terms of energy sustainability. It has the most affordable energy in the world, but its energy is less environmentally-sound than many other nations’.
  • The United Kingdom ranks 15 th in terms of energy sustainability. Its ranking has improved significantly due to recent efforts to diversify its energy mix.
  • Germany ranks 11 th in terms of energy sustainability, but it is only slightly above average in terms of environmentally-sound energy.

The report makes three recommendations to policy makers for how to accelerate sustainable energy systems in their countries, based on interviews with 40 CEOs and senior energy executives globally: 1)Design coherent energy policies that are regionally coordinated and link together national industrial, environmental, and transportation goals, 2) Support market conditions that attract long-term investments, and 3) Encourage initiatives that foster research and development in all areas of energy technology.

To view the third edition of the World Energy Trilemma report, the World Energy Council/Oliver Wyman Energy Sustainability Index, and videos visit

Next year's World Energy Trilemma report will focus on what policymakers need from the energy industry. Both of these reports will be discussed at a World Energy Congress hosted by the World Energy Council in October 2013.

For more information, please contact Elisabeth Egan at or +1 617 424 3721 and Catherine Thomain in Paris at or +33 1 45 02 32 56 (office) or 06 80 35 29 92 (mobile). Details can also be found at

About Oliver Wyman

Oliver Wyman is a global leader in management consulting. With offices in 50+ cities across 25 countries, Oliver Wyman combines deep industry knowledge with specialized expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organization transformation. The firm’s 3,000 professionals help clients optimize their business, improve their operations and risk profile, and accelerate their organizational performance to seize the most attractive opportunities.

The firm has been a project partner with the World Energy Council in developing an annual assessment of country energy policies since 2010.

Oliver Wyman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC]. Follow Oliver Wyman on Twitter @OliverWyman

About the World Energy Council

The World Energy Council (WEC) is the principal impartial network of leaders and practitioners promoting an affordable, stable and environmentally sensitive energy system for the greatest benefit of all. Formed in 1923, WEC is the UN-accredited global energy body, representing the entire energy spectrum, with more than 3000 member organisations located in over 90 countries and drawn from governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy related stakeholders. WEC informs global, regional and national energy strategies by hosting high-level events, publishing authoritative studies, and working through its extensive member network to facilitate the world's energy policy dialogue. For more information, visit:

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