As the world prepares for the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, KPMG has published its first Net Zero Readiness Index (NZRI). The NZRI is a tool that compares the progress of 32 countries in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, and assesses their preparedness and ability to achieve Net Zero emissions of these gases by 2050.

Net Zero primarily means reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans as close as possible to zero, with remaining emissions balanced by an equivalent amount of carbon removal from the atmosphere. While the main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, which makes work towards Net Zero carbon the central task, the Index also includes emissions of methane and nitrous oxide.

China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases with a reliance on coal for energy, however, it is rapidly developing renewable generation. The government has set a 2060 Net Zero emissions target and launched a carbon emissions trading scheme.