A new low: India is last in environmental performance index for 2022

India ranked lowest of 180 countries in the 2022 Environment Performance Index (EPI), an analysis by researchers from Yale and Columbia University that provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world. The EPI ranks 180 countries on 40 performance indicators, including climate change, environment, public health and biodiversity.

India was at the bottom with an overall score of 18.9, while Denmark was the top scorer as the world’s most sustainable country.

“…For the overall performance and EPI ranking, each country’s performance is considered in numerous (18) categories, such as ecosystem vitality, biodiversity and habitat, ecosystem services and grassland loss. Unfortunately, India is consistently at the bottom or near the bottom in almost all categories, both regionally and globally,” said an EPI statement.

“This is fundamentally a matter of the development model and the paths we want to pursue and the lifestyles we want to adopt as citizens. Destroying the environment and nature in the name of ‘development’ should no longer be the way, whatever the justification. Such an approach is simply untenable,” said Ravi Chellam, CEO, Metastring Foundation & Coordinator, Biodiversity Collaborative.

The United States ranks 20th out of 22 wealthy democracies in the global west and 43rd overall. The relatively low ranking reflects the rollback of environmental protections during the Trump administration. “The withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and weakened methane emissions regulations meant that the US lost time fighting climate change, while many of its colleagues in the developed world pursued policies to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”

The conclusions of the EPI analysis suggest that efficient policy outcomes are directly related to GDP per capita. Economic prosperity makes it possible for nations to invest in policies and programs that lead to desired results.

In pursuit of economic prosperity reflected in industrialization and urbanization, trends that bring about climate change place a strain on the vitality of ecosystems, especially in the developing world where air and water emissions remain significant.

Data suggests that developing countries do not have to sacrifice sustainability for economic security, according to EPI. The measures taken for climate action, initiated by policymakers and stakeholders in leading countries, demonstrate that focused attention can mobilize communities to protect natural resources and human well-being.

Countries like India and Nigeria are at the bottom of the ranking. Their low EPI scores indicate a need for greater focus on the spectrum of high-priority sustainability requirements for critical issues such as air and water quality, biodiversity and climate change.

“…We must immediately reduce the carbon intensity of our economy, undertake large-scale and long-term science-based ecological restoration of all our diverse ecosystems that are inclusive in their approach and strengthen the resilience of our socio-ecological systems,” Chelam said.

According to EPI estimates, only a handful of countries, including Denmark and the United Kingdom, are on track to meet net emissions targets by 2050. Countries such as China, India and Russia are heading in the wrong direction with rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions.

The EPI projections indicate that four countries – China, India, the United States and Russia – will account for more than 50% of the remaining global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 if current trends continue.

Projected emissions by 2050 is a tool that policymakers, media, business leaders, non-governmental organizations and the public use to measure the adequacy of national policies, highlight the largest contributors to climate change and gain support to improve the emissions trajectories of those countries to improve. who are out of work.

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