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 Tunisia.
Located in northern Africa on the southern shores of the Mediterranean sea, Tunisia is considered one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in this region. It faces increasing desertification as the Sahara creeps northward, while sea level rise threatens its coastal activity and drought its water resources and agriculture. The country therefore joined the Paris Agreement in 2015, pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors with a goal of -41% by 2030 relative to 2010 levels. The focus is mainly on the energy sector, which is expected to account for 75% of the emissions reduction through fossil fuel phase out, increased natural gas usage but also a large scale solar installation plan called the Tunisian Solar Plan.
The strategy’s execution is reliant on external funding from the international community, and its goals cannot be achieved without it. Nonetheless, it is already making significant strides toward mitigation, aiming to achieve ⅓ of its promised reduction on its own.
Building up resilience is a major concern, and it must shore up its defences regarding water resources, agriculture, natural and artificial ecosystems, its coastline, health care and tourism. The estimated adaptation costs are estimated around USD 2 billion, which the government expects to be completely covered by the international community.
- Tunisia’s sustainable development hinges on reforming its energy sector through the Tunisian Solar Plan and energy efficiency measures. It intends to make use of carbon market mechanisms and external aid to fund these.
- Adaptation is crucial in Tunisia, where health, water, agriculture, coastlines and ecosystems are all threatened by climate change. The USD 2 billion required to build up resilience in key sectors is expected to come from the international community.
- In the meantime, officials are well on their way to covering a third of their emission reduction commitments (-41% by 2030, relative to 2010) unassisted.
* 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.
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.