Welcome to the Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index, where Earth.Org examines the policies and actions regarding the environment of every nation on earth. Combining the most respected global indexes on pollution, climate change, policy, energy, oceans, biodiversity we have produced an overall Global Index, which will be updated annually. This is the Global Sustainability Index scorecard for Afghanistan.
With social tensions and conflict rife, it is almost understandable that Afghanistan’s climate commitments have lagged behind those of other countries. Nevertheless, the country is highly vulnerable to the climate crisis as it already suffers from severe floods and drought, which will become more severe and frequent as the crisis worsens. Scientists have predicted an increase in average temperatures of up to 4°C relative to 1999, which would devastate the agricultural sector, on which most Afghans rely for food.
- Afghanistan is highly vulnerable to climate change as it already suffers from severe floods and drought. Scientists have predicted an increase in average temperatures of up to 4°C relative to 1999. This would have dire consequences because approximately 80% of Afghans rely on rain-fed agriculture and cattle grazing, on top of the dangers of natural disasters.
- Such a scenario would also deepen social tensions and conflict. Arable land has decreased by nearly 60% since 1978.
- Work has been undertaken to improve irrigation infrastructure, restore rangelands and creating livelihood projects in targeted communities.
- The country’s goals for climate mitigation are lagging behind the more immediate issues listed above, pledging a 13.6% reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to business as usual, conditional on external support.
* Our Climate Change Ranking considers this country’s efforts/impact toward climate change insufficient and thus has not ranked it.
** Our Energy ranking considers emission intensity (units of energy per unit of GDP). When one or both are low enough to make their influence negligible on a global scale, the country is left out of the ranking.
*** Afghanistan has no coast or naval activity.
Biodiversity, Policy: Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2019): Sustainable Development Report 2019. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
Oceans: Halpern, Benjamin S., et al. “An index to assess the health and benefits of the global ocean.” Nature 488.7413 (2012): 615-620.
Pollution: Wendling, Z. A., Emerson, J. W., Esty, D. C., Levy, M. A., de Sherbinin, A., et al. (2018). 2018 Environmental Performance Index. New Haven, CT: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy. https://epi.yale.edu/
Climate Change: Climate Change Performance Index; Jan Burck, Ursula Hagen, Niklas Höhne, Leonardo Nascimento, Christoph Bals, ISBN 978-3-943704-75-4, 2019
Energy: Enerdata –World Energy Statistics – Yearbook.