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India Ranks Low on Environmental Performance Index 2024

The 2024 Environmental Performance Index ranks India 176th out of 180 countries, highlighting serious environmental challenges. Despite slight progress in climate change mitigation, India scores poorly in air quality and sanitation

By Ground report
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India Ranks Low on Environmental Performance Index 2024

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The 2024 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) reveals concerning trends for India's environmental stewardship. The report, by the Center for Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University, ranks India 176th out of 180 countries, with a score of 27.6 points.

The EPI tracks sustainability worldwide by ranking countries based on their performance in mitigating climate change, ecosystem health, and environmental well-being. It evaluates each nation's efforts to tackle environmental challenges using 58 indicators across 11 categories.

India's overall ranking is grim, but it fares slightly better in the Climate Change Index, ranking 133rd with 35 points. However, India ranks fifth in air quality in South Asia with 6.8 points.

The EPI 2024 introduces new metrics in response to emerging goals and recent environmental reports. One notable addition is the assessment of individual countries' progress in reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The report reveals that more countries are reducing their emissions than previously thought. However, only five nations – Estonia, Finland, Greece, Timor-Leste, and the UK – have reduced their emissions enough to reach net-zero or be on track to do so by 2050 if they continue at their current rate.

The report states that the United States is reducing emissions at a slower pace, ranking 34th, while China, Russia, and India maintain higher greenhouse gas emissions.

The 2024 EPI has introduced new metrics to measure how well countries protect essential habitats and regulate protected areas in response to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework's goal of protecting 30% of land and sea by 2030.

The report shows that many countries have met conservation goals, but the loss of natural ecosystems remains a major challenge. In 23 countries, over 10% of protected lands are occupied by buildings and agriculture. In 35 countries, more fish are caught inside marine protected areas than outside.

The report emphasizes the importance of funding protected areas and developing well-regulated environmental protection standards with local communities.

India's poor performance in the index is worsened by its ranking in sanitation and drinking water, placing last among South Asian countries with a score of 25.6. This is concerning because India has 18% of the world's population but only 4% of the global fresh water supply.

The EPI 2024 reminds that no country is fully sustainable by current metrics. The report urges better infrastructure for needs like clean water, waste management, and renewable energy. It calls on rich countries to address excessive consumption, leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and ecosystem destruction.

The 2024 Environmental Performance Index highlights the need for global action amid climate change and environmental degradation. The report should prompt India to prioritize sustainable development, conservation, and responsible resource management to safeguard its ecological future.

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