U.S. Ranks 9th Out of 12 on Energy Efficiency but Feels Least Guilty
International Energy Efficiency Score Comparison
The ACEEE “International Energy Efficiency Scorecard” ranks 12 of the world’s largest economies based on 27 energy-efficiency metrics regarding buildings, industry, transportation, and efforts at the national level. Top scorers were the U.K., Germany, Italy, and Japan; the U.S. ranked ninth.
By Erin Weaver
The U.S. scores low on energy efficiency among the world’s largest economies, ranking 9th out of 12 in a new report from the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
The “International Energy Efficiency Scorecard” looked at 12 nations representing 78% of global GDP, 63% of global energy consumption, and 62% of global emissions. Scoring was based on 27 metrics regarding buildings, industry, transportation, and efforts at the national level. The United Kingdom was the top-ranked country in the study, with Germany, Italy, Japan, and France also scoring high marks. The U.K. scored in the top four across all four categories, while the U.S. scored relatively well on building-related metrics but last in transportation measures—and has made “limited or little progress toward greater efficiency at the national level,” according to the report.
The authors point out that the U.S. is wasting money other nations are able to reinvest, and they make a number of recommendations, including national energy-savings targets; adoption of the most stringent building codes; increased funding for public transportation; and higher federal fuel-economy standards.
Many of these nations were also included in a recent report from
National Geographic indicating that people from countries with larger environmental footprints are less likely to feel guilty about their impact. Citizens of India, with the lowest per capita footprint, feel the most environmental guilt, followed by the Chinese, Brazilians, and Russians; Americans, with the highest environmental impacts of the 17 countries surveyed, feel the least guilt.