World still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, new report shows

Clean energy

Man turning an energy transition button to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energies.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

in Sharm el-Sheikh 

The climate change performance index 2022 is out.

The document which was released yesterday shows that even as talks are underway for the world to transition to renewable energy, it is still highly dependent on fossil fuels.

According to the report, fossil fuels account for over 75 percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with some of the biggest emitters being from America, Asia, the Middle east and Europe.

Some of the countries include Japan, China, Indonesia, The United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Iran, while among best performers, Denmark, Sweden and Chile lead the park.

The only three African countries included in the report are Egypt, Algeria and South Africa, which is ranked as the biggest emitter in Africa at number 44. Other African countries weren’t included in the study.

But even against this backdrop, Africa is still under pressure to join the rest of the world in transitioning into renewable energy, a fact that hasn’t gone well. There are those who argue that Africa cannot transition with the same pace as the rest of the world, considering its needs.

Many African officials argue that, for a continent with over 2two billion people, renewable energy is not a substitute for hydrocarbon energy.

In an article published by the Africa Renewal ahead of COP 27, Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) says, though Africa needs to tap a range of energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal and gas, transition to renewable energy should be pragmatic and sensitive to Africa’s development reality.

According to Jennifer Sara, the Global Director for the World Bank Group's Climate Change, transition to green energy has to keep in mind the needs of those who depend on fossil fuels. “This means we cannot just push for transition without helping especially poor communities find energy alternatives.”

In the meantime, the CCPI has decided to flag the 17 countries responsible for a large share of fossil fuel production.  According to the report, the Paris Agreement promises in reach, no new permits for fossil fuel extraction should be handed out, and no new fossil fuel infrastructure switched on, and countries must stop investing in fossil fuels and they must expand their investments in renewable energy. 


This story was produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security.