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 Qatar.
The Qatari government is focusing on eight sectors for sustainable development: economic diversification, environment sustainability, education, healthcare, social protection, public safety and security, culture and sports, and international technical cooperation. These priorities have helped boost Qatar’s Human Development Index value by 12% from 1990 to 2018, from 0.757 to 0.848, putting Qatar in the highest category of human development
The country’s main environmental problem is a lack of freshwater that it’s been able to solve thanks to cutting-edge desalination technologies, which produce safe drinking water for 100% of the population. Qatar’s water shortage has invigorated an extensive water management system which raises awareness to and reduces water waste. Qatar’s climate is optimal for solar energy harvesting, and many urban buildings are fitted with solar panels.
However, Qatar’s growing population (3.5% annual growth) has spurred increased urbanization and exacerbated man-made pollution and waste production. And furthermore, Qatar’s sustainability efforts are marred by the nation’s large natural gas production which in 2016 accounted for 30% of the world’s natural gas trade.
- Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup as a sustainable sporting event by promoting social well being, and equitable economic growth, and implementing environmentally friendly practices in its production and delivery.
- Terrestrial protected areas have increased from 11% to 23.6% since 2008
- The key national strategy for emission reduction is to improve wastewater treatment, allowing reuse for agriculture. This will reduce the amount of water that needs to be desalinated, which is energy intensive and relies on fossil fuels.
* 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.
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.