ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE INDEX 2022

ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE INDEX 2022

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June 13, 2022 - 5:34 am

ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE INDEX 2022 : India Stands At Bottom


India’s postion According to Environmental Performance index

India ranks at bottom position among 180 countries within 40 performance indicators on managing climate change, environmental health, and ecosystem vitality in the newly released 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2022 by researchers of Yale and Columbia University in the United States. The ranking was questioned by the Environment Ministry and issued rebuttal by stating that it was based on ‘unfounded assumptions’.


What is EPI Ranking?

The EPI, an international ranking system of countries based on their environmental health, is a biennial index, first started in 2002 as the Environment Sustainability Index by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University. 40 indicators are used to assess and rank 180 countries. The 40 indicators lie under the broad categories of climate change performance, environmental health, and ecosystem vitality. Inclusion of new parameters by the EPI 2022 to its earlier assessments, with projections of progress towards net-zero emissions in 2050, as well as new air quality indicators, and sustainable pesticide use


What the EPI Reports Says?

According to report, ‘’These indicators are the methods to provide us a gauge at a national scale of how close countries maintain environmental policy targets. The EPI provides a scorecard that highlights leaders and laggards in environmental performance and practical guidance for countries aspire to move towards a sustainable future,”. Denmark, United Kingdom and Finland are at the top of the list respectively. High-scoring countries exhibit longstanding & regular investments in policies to protect environmental health, preserve biodiversity & habitat, conserve natural resources, & decouple greenhouse gas emissions from economic growth. Whereas, most low-scoring countries are those that have prioritised economic growth over sustainability, or those that are struggling with civil unrest & other crises.

Deterioration of air quality and rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions caused the primary reasons behind India’s low score, and need urgent attention. According to the Current trends and EPI projections India, China, the U.S., & Russia will account for over 50 % of residual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. India and Indonesia are the top two generators of marine plastic waste in the world, while China could manage to decelerate its ocean plastic pollution, the report stated. In an analysis of countries protecting the world’s biomes, India lies at the bottom in 5 out of 14 sub-categories – the most for a single nation.


What Steps Environment Ministry Has Taken ?

The Environment Ministry emphasises that the correct method to calculate GHG emissions per capita with the coefficients taking into account the effect of policies to reduce emissions like increase in use of renewable energy, electric vehicles, creation of carbon sink, etc., to the projection for future years. “Biased metrics and biased weights” are the reasons for India to rank low as the report couldn’t account for the fact that India lies as one of the lowest emission trajectories. Also, developed nations past emissions are responsible for the climate crisis. Per capita GHG emissions is of 2.6% weight overall in the index. India is a party to Paris Agreement and has given a goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2070 and hence comparing it to countries with Projected 2050 emissions level in 2050 equal to or below zero receiving the maximum score is against the principle of Equity as enshrined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreements.


Experts Opinion

Experts have also chimed in with their opinion that the government should not ignore the fact that India was at 168th rank in 2020 and has never been in the top 150 countries since the index was started. India does have severe local environmental issues, which have been highlighted in the report & need to be addressed. many smaller and poorer countries have performed better. The rank should not be the sole criteria of measurement. Apart from this, we should also not consider this If other countries perform poorer, India’s rank will improve. It is pertinent to focus on sustainable developmental pathways that needs to immediately be adopted.


Questions and Answers Questions and Answers

Question : What is the EPI?
Answers : "The EPI is a biennial index, first started in 2002 as the Environment Sustainability Index by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University."
Question : What are the three leading countries in the Environmental Performance Index?
Answers : Denmark, United Kingdom, Finland
Question : What are the primary reasons behind India's low environmental score?
Answers : Air quality degradation and rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions are the primary reasons behind India's low environmental score.
Question : Why does the environment ministry emphasise the correct method to calculate GHG emissions per capita?
Answers : "The environment ministry emphasises the correct method to calculate GHG emissions per capita because biased metrics and biased weights are the reasons for India to rank low as the report couldn’t account for the fact that India lies as one of the lowest emission trajectories."
Question : Why is it important for the government to take notice of India's 168th rank in the 2020 Environmental Performance Index?
Answers : India has never been in the top 150 countries since the index was started, and many smaller and poorer countries have performed better. The rank should not be the sole criteria of measurement.
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