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 Bangladesh.
With two-thirds of the country less than 20 feet above sea level and with rapidly growing urban centres, Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis. However, it has made little to no progress in mitigating the crisis- the share of fossil fuels in electricity production in the country is very high; in 2015, it was at nearly 99%. Existing power plants are mostly oil and gas fired; oil needs to be imported and local gas resources are not sufficient to cover increasing demand, so the country is seeking alternatives to reduce its dependence on oil and gas. Meanwhile, the share of electricity produced from renewable sources was at 0.3% in 2015, increasing from 0% in 2010. Increases in capacity for renewable energy technologies have mainly focused on solar energy. To cover the demand for energy, Bangladesh imports a substantial amount of its power from India.
The country is planning to expand its coal power plants, which is completely inconsistent with the Paris Agreement, to which Bangladesh is a party, and it prevents the country from investing in and reaping the benefits of cheap and clean renewable energy.
Should global mean temperatures increase by 3°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, temperatures in parts of the country could reach almost 45°C.
- Bangladesh is one of the most climate change-vulnerable countries in the world. Suffering from floods, cyclones, droughts and landslides frequently, they are still making headway in getting the country out of poverty.
- The government is more focused on the immediate safety of their poorer citizens, prioritising investment in risk reduction before low carbon energy and technology transfer.
- Since Bangladesh only represents 0.35% of global emissions, the onus is on the international community to do their part in order to help. Despite this, the government has pledged a 5-15% reduction in emissions by 2030 in the energy, transport and industry sectors.
* Our Climate Change Ranking considers this country’s efforts 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.
You might also like: Global Emissions (2016)
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.