South Africa leads environmental sustainability rankings ahead of Nigeria, Kenya

In a groundbreaking report released on Thursday, South Africa emerges as the frontrunner in combatting climate change in Africa.

The Middle East and Africa Environmental Sustainability Scorecard, a comprehensive evaluation of government and business initiatives, applauds South Africa’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Highlighting the environmental strides made by the continent, the report sheds light on the fact that many Middle East and African nations, though considered ‘latecomers’ to global sustainable development, are swiftly intensifying their efforts in sustainability strategies, programs, and investments.

The scorecard meticulously analyzes 17 countries, employing 48 performance and progress indicators across six pivotal areas: green investment and technology, sustainable infrastructure and transport, governance and reporting, energy transition, environmental ecosystems, and circularity.

The rankings unfold as follows: South Africa takes the lead, followed by UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Morocco, Qatar, Tanzania, Nigeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Cote d’Ivoire, Oman, and Mozambique.

A notable revelation from the report is Africa’s focus on green transport, with African nations leading the charge toward non-fossil fuels for transportation. Governments are spearheading this transition, outpacing businesses in the realm of climate action across both the Middle East and Africa.

Surprisingly, the report brings to light a stark contrast in awareness. While governments actively engage in climate action, a significant number of businesses are seemingly unaware of the UN-led COP process—a key mechanism for measuring and propelling global efforts against climate change. A staggering 82% of African businesses and 49% of Middle East businesses are oblivious to COP, and only a few companies leverage it to set sustainability targets.

Intriguingly, the report underscores the tangible impact of climate change on businesses. A staggering 97% of companies acknowledge the adverse effects of climate change on their operations, with 49% experiencing either severe damage or a significant and growing impact.

Commissioned by Agility, a global supply chain services company headquartered in Kuwait, and compiled by Horizon Group—a Geneva-based firm specializing in research and analysis—the scorecard offers a nuanced perspective on the environmental landscape.

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