Climate Risk Profile: Tunisia
This profile provides an overview of climate risks in Tunisia, including how climate change will potentially impact five key sectors in the country: agriculture, infrastructure, tourism, health and governance. The brief also includes an overview of historical and future climate trends in Tunisia, the policy context outlining existing climate risk strategies and plans, and a list of ongoing projects that focus on climate adaptation.
Tunisia is vulnerable to climate variability and change such as rising temperatures and varied precipitation levels coupled with potential increased frequency of extreme events, such as floods and droughts, that could threaten agriculture, economic development, and availability of water resources throughout the country. Tunisia’s susceptibility to climate variability is also tied to its reliance on agriculture and tourism; agriculture accounts for 10 to 14 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employs approximately 16 percent of the workforce, while tourism accounts for 6.5 percent of GDP and directly supports 6 percent of Tunisia’s workforce.
Tunisia’s coastal region harbors 80 percent of the country’s economic activity and is home to two-thirds of the country’s 11.6 million people. However, nearly 1150 kilometers of coast is significantly threatened by sea level rise. Without adaptation measures, and under a high emissions scenario, 78,700 Tunisians would be affected annually between 2070 and 2100 by sea level rise and flooding. Sea level rise also threatens the water scarce low-lying islands off Tunisia’s coast, where climate change will likely exacerbate existing water security challenges and may also result in coastal erosion and increased evapotranspiration due to rising temperatures. The Government of Tunisia recognizes the threat that climate change poses, with climate change explicitly discussed in the country’s constitution.