The Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) from Dual Citizen measures how well countries perform in four key areas: leadership & climate change, efficiency sectors, markets & investment and environment & natural capital. (Scroll down for full report)

This rating is then compared with ‘perception’ assessments on the same categories from ‘expert practitioners’.

The UK is perceived well, ranking 8th out of 60 countries, but doesn’t live up to its billing, finishing 20th for actual performance.

The report explained: “The UK doesn’t excel on any one topic, possibly due to inconsistent political rhetoric and policy related to green economy there. While gradually improving, the UK still lags behind its northern European and Nordic competitors.”

OECD failings

The US showed an even bigger discrepancy between perception and reality, as experts considered it to be the sixth greenest country, when it actually ranked 28th.

“The US has a long way to go in many areas, ranking poorly on climate change performance measure and environmental categories, most notably fisheries and forests,” read the report.

In fact the US and UK were joined by Japan, Australia and the Netherlands as developed economies whose reputation masked poor climate performance.

The GGEI described these shortcomings as a red flag, “reinforcing the importance of mainstreaming the green economy concept”.

Likewise, many of the world’s fastest growing economies, particularly in Africa the Middle East and Asia, ranked poorly on the GGEI performance measure, “highlighting an urgent need to reorient their economies to greener growth pathways”.

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Top Performers

The top five in both categories is dominated by northern European nations. Germany is perceived to run the greenest economy, while Sweden actually does.

Costa Rica is a surprise success story, running the third greenest economy, despite experts projecting it to be 13th.

The Global Green Economy Index 2014

Brad Allen

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