The Environmental Performance Index is a global ranking system that measures nations’ sustainability and ecological health. It calculates the rate of change in emissions over the past decade and considers the extent of renewable energy use and capacity, energy efficiency, and carbon sink of countries. The Index is produced by the Yale University Centre for Environmental Law and Policy and Columbia University Centre for International Earth Science Information Network.
The Environmental Performance Index for 2022 ranked India the lowest among 180 countries. Countries were ranked based on three leading indicators climate change, ecosystem vitality, and environmental health. According to the Index, South Asian countries such as Pakistan, Nepal, and India, are falling behind on air quality.
Due to India’s poor air quality and rising greenhouse gas emissions, the country is placed at the very end of the Index for 2022 for the first time. Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India are ranked 178th, 177th, 176th, and 180th, respectively, based on focused economic growth over environmental stability and sustainability. Haiti (173th) and Myanmar (179th) were also ranked low on the Index due to current civil unrest.
China’s issues related to poor air quality and rising greenhouse gas emissions continue to affect its ranking. It was ranked 160 out of 180 countries. China, Russia, India, and other developing countries’ greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase in spite of global commitments to reduce emissions.
Professor Dan Esty, director of the Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy, states that countries need to put a lot of effort if the world is to avoid the potentially severe impacts of climate change.
According to experts, only a few countries, such as the United Kingdom and Denmark, will likely reach greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 due to their ambitious climate policies. Further, over 50 percent of emissions in 2050 will likely come from only four countries- India, China, Russia, and the United States.
As the 2022 Index ranks India and a few other countries the lowest, the other hand, the Union Environment Ministry of India refuted the Environmental Performance Index for 2022, stating that the indicators used were generalized and based on unscientific methods. The ministry has claimed that the weight of indicators in which India performed better has been reduced.
India has been given a total EPI score of 18.9. India received a 19.3 score for ecosystem vitality, and the change in this indicator in the last decade is -2 due to the huge loss of biodiversity, habitats, and wetlands. A 12.5 score on environmental health due to poor air quality, drinking water, and sanitation. And lastly, a 21.7 score for climate policy.
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