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 Switzerland.
In 2020, Switzerland joined just a few other nations in announcing their ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Switzerland is among the top five fastest nations on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals set out in 2015. Switzerland has also been a leader in accountability to meeting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Swiss government conducted an extensive gap-analysis to isolate areas of improvement and have since implemented a robust monitoring system to ensure that all sectors and industries contribute to achieving its 2030 targets.
Switzerland’s sustainability efforts are global too; this year, they signed bilateral agreements with Peru and Ghana respectively for the nations to cooperate toward achieving their respective Paris Agreement commitments. These two bilateral agreements involve Switzerland offsetting its own emissions by investing in Ghanian and Peruvian sustainable development businesses.
- Switzerland is leading the way in carbon capture technology with the opening of the first industrial scale carbon-capture plant outside Zurich in 2017.
- Switzerland has invested heavily in preserving and protecting its water supply by building approximately 800 wastewater treatment plans.
- Zurich is a leader in sustainable cities.
* Switzerland has no coast or naval activity.
** 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.