A policy insight by Pia Andres and Penny Mealy

Ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit in June 2021, this report uses a new data-driven online tool, the Green Transition Navigator, to analyse the green competitiveness of the seven individual G7 member states and invited countries (Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea). The report also includes China, due to its recent rise to prominence in producing and exporting many green technologies and products.

Main findings

  • Germany has consistently held its position as a ‘green leader’, followed by Italy and the United States. These countries currently have productive capabilities that allow them to competitively export a wide range of ‘complex’ (or technologically sophisticated) green products.
  • While competitiveness in green products allows countries to take advantage of the green transition, competitiveness in products with higher complexity is also important. China has rapidly increased its competitiveness in green products over the past 20 years and is now the world leader in exporting solar photovoltaic cells, fuel cells and electric soil heating apparatus, among other products.
  • In contrast, Australia has seen a significant decline in its green production capabilities over the past two decades and now lags behind many countries in terms of its capacity to competitively export products relevant to the green economy.
  • Many countries that currently export a diverse range of green, technologically sophisticated products are also well placed to expand into new green industries in the future. The analysis suggests that of the 12 countries considered, Italy and China stand out as having the most future potential to develop competitiveness into further green products and technologies.

About the Green Transition Navigator

The Green Transition Navigator is designed to help map and manage the shifting landscape of green competitiveness for different countries. It is underpinned by recent peer-reviewed research by Mealy and Teytelboym (2020), and draws on over 20 years of detailed data to showcase new metrics of green competitiveness and future green diversification potential across 231 countries and territories. It also enables the exploration and comparison of countries’ competitive strengths in specific green products, and the identification of new green industrial growth opportunities that align with countries’ existing productive capabilities.

The Green Transition Navigator aims to provide a starting point for policymakers, researchers and businesses to identify possible industrial growth opportunities that align with countries’ existing competitive strengths, and which are likely to be in greater demand as the world transitions to a greener economy.

To view the interactive Green Transition Navigator website, visit

Produced with the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment and the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School.

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