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 Iceland.

Iceland stands out among countries committed to the Paris Agreement by its unusual emissions profile. Nearly all heating and electricity generation comes from hydro and geothermal energy, and is thus renewable. It holds a large potential for carbon sequestration through revegetation and afforestation, along with reclaiming drained wetlands. The biggest greenhouse gas sources are industrial processes, transport, agriculture and waste management. 

Countries are expected to renew their commitments in 2020, but the global COVID-19 pandemic has led to many postponing this. Iceland did not do so, submitting new goals for 2030 that could lead to a 40-46% reduction in emissions compared to 2005 levels. The plan consists of emissions reduction in key sectors, but also encourages climate-friendly changes in everyday life for its citizens, from waste management to transport. 

iceland global sustainability index

* 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.

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Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index Ranking image description: Iceland Rankings – Policy: 128, Pollution: 168, Climate Change: N/A, Oceans: N/A, Biodiversity: 16, Energy: N/A, Earth.Org Global Sustainability Index Ranking 190.