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Why is India at the bottom of environmental performance index?

Why is India at the bottom of environmental performance index?

India has ranked at the bottom of a list of 180 countries that were assessed for their environmental performance in the 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI). Despite implementing various initiatives like Sashakt Bharat, Swachh Bharat – Swasth Bharat, Satat Bharat – Sanatan Bharat and many more, India ranked last in the 2022 Environmental Performance Index and was considered as the least sustainable country in the world.

Environmental Performance Index

India scored the lowest: 18.9 out of 180 countries, according to a report by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, Yale University, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University and the McCall MacBain Foundation.

The report provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world using 40 performance indicators across 11 issue categories. The EPI ranks 180 countries based on their progress toward improving environmental health, protecting ecosystem vitality, and mitigating climate change.

India’s rank is 180 with a total score of 18.9, and in the last decade, performance has decreased by 0.6 scores. Our neighbouring nations have done better in this regard. Pakistan is ranked 176th with a score of 24.6 and Bangladesh is ranked 177th with a score of 23.2.

Nepal ranks 162nd and Srilanka 132nd, while Bhutan ranks 85th and Afghanistan 81st.

The EPI is a biennial index. It quantifies and numerically ranks a country’s environmental performance based on the three broad themes of ecosystem vitality, health, and climate policy. It was first started in 2002 as the ESI, or the Environmental Sustainability Index, as a collaboration between the World Economic Forum, the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, and the Columbia University Center for International Information Network on Earth Sciences (CIESIN). EPI 2022 is a joint project of the Yale Center and the Columbia Earth Institute.

The EPI is considered more accurate than other reports because it uses results-oriented indicators compared to the ESI. Some of these indicators are: exposure to environmental risk; air quality; average exposure to PM2.5, or the inhalability of the air; the air pollution; water and sanitation parameters; drinking water quality; ecosystem vitality; health and management of water resources; sewage treatment; green investment; green innovations; and national leadership on climate change.

Its website says: “The 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world. Using 40 performance indicators in 11 thematic categories, the EPI ranks 180 countries on climate change performance, environmental health and ecosystem vitality.

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These indicators provide a national scale measure of how close countries are to stated environmental policy goals. The EPI offers a scorecard that highlights the leaders and laggards in environmental performance and provides practical guidance for countries aspiring to move toward a sustainable future.

Top Countries

RankCountriesEPI Score10 Year Change
Denmark177.9014.90
United Kingdom277.7023.00
Finland376.5021.00
Malta475.2025.20
Sweden572.7015.80

Top 5 countries from below

RankCountriesEPI Score10 Year Change
132Sri Lanka34.70-2.60
162Nepal28.30-10.30
176Pakistan24.601.40
177Bangladesh23.10-1.90
180India18.90-0.60

Countries with high scores exhibit long and continuous investment in policies that protect environmental health, preserve biodiversity and habitat, conserve natural resources, and decoupling greenhouse gas emissions from economic growth.

Denmark tops the 2022 rankings, ranking 1st – an achievement rooted in a strong performance on nearly every issue tracked by the EPI, with notable leadership in efforts to promote a future of clean energy and sustainable agriculture. The UK and Finland come second and third, both scoring highly for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in recent years.

Lagging behind its peers, the United States ranks 20th out of 22 wealthy democracies in the Global West and 43rd overall. This relatively low ranking reflects the rollback of environmental protections during the Trump Administration. In particular, its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and weakening emissions rules meant that the United States lost valuable time mitigating climate change, while many of its peers in the developed world enacted policies to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse effect.

Innovations in EPI methodology continue to shed light on new environmental issues and identify worrying trends, especially as data coverage improves in the developing world. Based on the latest scientific knowledge and environmental data, India ranks at the bottom of all countries in the EPI 2022, ranking 180th and scoring low on a range of critical issues. Deteriorating air quality and rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions pose especially urgent challenges. Many of the lower tier countries face war and other sources of unrest as well as a lack of financial resources to invest in environmental infrastructure.

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