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The UK is the best-placed large country in the race to switch from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy sources, says the World Economic Forum (WEF).

A study of 115 nations ranked the UK as eighth in its preparedness for the energy transition, and the only G7 nation in the top 10 of the WEF’s index.

However, the UK’s success is being undermined by the largest greenhouse gas emitters – including the US, China, India and Russia – whose progress on energy transition has stalled.

Despite the climate pact signed in Paris three years ago, the world’s energy systems have become less affordable and are no more environmentally sustainable than they were five years ago, warned the WEF.

Roberto Bocca, of the WEF, says “urgent action” is needed to accelerate an energy transition “that works for business, consumers and our environment”. He adds: “We need a future where energy is affordable, sustainable and accessible to all.”

Britain has emerged as an exception to the global trend in which smaller economies are leading efforts in the energy transition and the world’s largest economies are hampering efforts to future-proof global energy.

It was ranked behind Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia for creating an energy system that is “delivering on energy security, economic growth and environmental sustainability”.

The report found that the 10 countries that score the highest in terms of readiness account for just 2.6pc of global annual emissions. Meanwhile, the world still uses fossil fuels to meet over 80pc of its energy needs.

The report found that carbon emissions crept up in 2018 to the highest level since 2014.

Source: The Telegraph