Laos leads the Natural capital Index 2021
The Natural Capital Index aims to measure the Natural Capital – one of 5 pillars of a countries (sustainable) competitiveness. The Natural Capital of a country is the given physical environment and its climatic conditions, paired with the availability and intactness of natural resources and sufficient water. The Natural Capital of a country reflects its ability to sustain the livelihoods and health of the population, and the economy – now AND into the future. The Natural Capital Index is calculated based on 28 quantitative data indicators derived from reliable international organisations.
Key takeaways form the 2021 Natural Capital Index:
- The Natural Capital Index 2021 is topped by Laos
- Laos is followed by Colombia, Paraguay, and Bolivia.
- South American nations score high in Natural Capital – the combined result of sufficient water availability, humid and tropical climate, and the deposits of other natural resources
- Scandinavian countries, thanks to low population density, high forest coverage and the availability of water are all ranked in the top 20s – as is New Zealand.
- Canada is ranked 31, the US 39
- African countries in the tropical belt are ranked fairly high – including the 2 Congo, Gabon, and Cameroon
- The two most populated countries, China (134) and India (152) are both affected by a combination of arid climate, high population density and depletion levels, raising concerns over those countries’ ability to self-sustain their large populations in the long term.
The average global score in Natural Capital is 45.2 – 55 points off the ideal state. Natural Capital is under stress, almost everywhere on the World.
However, what is more worrying is the large percentage of negative trends across all indicators: 49% of all indicators show further deteriorating developments, while only 34% are positive. Given the absence of meaningful policies, we unfortunately have to expect a further decline of environmental parameters into the future.
To read more, download the Natural Capital Index 2021
Natural Capital Clusters
Water Availability - Top & Bottom Ten
Water Availability Map
Thanks to their geographical location and the associated climatic conditions (humidity, consistent and abundant rain), countries in tropical areas have, in general, higher availability of sufficient water. Countries in arid locations – particularly in the Middle East and Northern Africa – are facing increasing difficulties to meet the water needs of their population, the agriculture, and the economy. China and India – the two most populous countries – have limited internal water resources and ranked 103 and 121, respectively.
Climate Change Risk Exposure
Climate Change - Lowest & Highest Ten Risk Exposure
Climate Change Risk Exposure Map
Not surprising, small island states with low overall evaluation above sea levels are facing the highest climate change risks across all nations. The two most populous nations – China and India – are also facing significant climate change risks. However – even the best scoring countries at 60 are facing considerable climate change risks