UAE’s Progress Towards Greener Economy Measured by International Standards


The 2014 Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) revealed that UAE’ economy is the greenest in the Middle East. However, on a more global scale, the country’s performance is not among the top ten.

The UAE has scored a result of 45.6 points in terms of performance on this year’s Global Green Economy Index. That makes it first in the Middle East and 40th in the world. The report measures the green performance of 60 different economies by considering factors like sustainability of buildings, efficiency of energy, climate change performance, renewable energy investment and many others.

According to the research, the United Arab Emirates is focusing efforts towards making the economy even greener. It also stated that although there is still much to be desired in this direction, the UAE has witnessed a significant improvement over the past couple of years. Moreover, for the very first time, the country has managed to find a place among the top 20 on Markets & Investment sub-ranking of the index. In addition, the report mentions that the main factor that drags the country’s ranking is related to carbon.

However, the UAE is not the only fast-growing economy that has scored like that on the ranking. Qatar, China and Thailand also scored poorly this year. Developed economies, on the other hand, face a different problem. Japan, the United States, Australia and the Netherlands all score high in terms of perceptions of their green economic performance. Nevertheless, in reality, their performance is lower. In contrast, European countries like Iceland, Spain, Austria, Ireland and Portugal score low in perception and high in performance. Researchers behind the study explain that the green economies of these countries are still not well-positioned on the international map.

Although the United Arab Emirates is not among the greenest global economies this year, it ranks third in terms of sustainable buildings. According to the report, the UAE has 8.38 million gross square meters of sustainable constructions. It is topped only by the United States and Finland, which have 15.8 million gross sq. m. and 8.4 million gross sq. m. of sustainable buildings, respectively.

Greenest economies in 2014:

  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Costa Rica
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Switzerland
  • Austria
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Spain

This year’s greenest economy is Sweden, which is followed by Norway. Costa Rica (3) is the only non-European country on the 2014 Index. Nevertheless, further down the list, Latin American countries like Colombia (14), Peru (16), Brazil (18) and Chile (19) gain momentum.


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