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 Azerbaijan.
According to the 2020 Sustainable Development report, Azerbaijan is a regional leader among South Caucasus countries for sustainable development. The small nation has made progress on many of the SDG measures, including poverty, access to clean water and sanitation, health and wellbeing, access to affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, climate action, and peace and justice.
Since 2007, Azerbaijan’s economy has grown by 80%, facilitating large socioeconomic development. This has been in large part thanks to foreign investment in its oil and gas infrastructure, as Azerbaijan is a major player in the production and transportation of oil and gas across the region, recently announcing plans to increase oil production by .5 million barrels in 2021. Due to the dependence and profitability of its natural oil and gas resources, Azerbaijan has not yet pursued substantial investment into renewables, despite the region’s potential for solar and wind energy. However, the country has made strides in reducing their GHG emissions, and as of 2017, has already surpassed its 2030 goal of reducing GHG emissions by 35% from 1990 levels.
Moving forward, Azerbaijan needs to develop its renewable energy sector and invest in green infrastructure in order to decouple its economic growth from its emissions output.
- Ongoing conflict in the region, especially between Azerbaijan and Armenia, has degraded social, economic and environmental sustainability and hampered sustainable development efforts
- While Azerbaijan signed on to and ratified the Paris Agreement, the nation has not implemented any legally binding climate targets and policies.
* 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.
*** Azerbaijan 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.