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Environment performance index
India secured 168 ranks in the 12th edition of the biennial Environment Performance Index (EPI Index 2020).
What is EPI Index?
- The Environment Performance Index ranks 180 countries on 32 performance indicators across 11 categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.
- The global index considered 32 indicators of environmental performance, giving a snapshot of the 10-year trends in environmental performance at the national and global levels.
- Publisher: The Index was developed by the Center for Environmental Law & Policy at Yale University and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.
- India’s rank was 177 (with a score of 30.57 out of 100) in 2018. The country scored 27.6 out of 100 in the 2020 index.
- India scored below the regional average score on all five key parameters on environmental health, including air quality, sanitation and drinking water, heavy metals and waste management.
The Global Findings
- Denmark came in first place, followed by Luxembourg and Switzerland. The United Kingdom ranked fourth.
- China, which is plagued by poor air quality, has made investments that have helped it climb to 120th place, ahead of India’s 168th-place ranking.
- The 11 countries lagging behind India were — Burundi, Haiti, Chad, Soloman Islands, Madagascar, Guinea, and Côte d’Ivoir, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Liberia.
- All South Asian countries, except Afghanistan, were ahead of India in the ranking.
Suggestions for India
- India needs to re-double national sustainability efforts on all fronts, according to the index.
- The country needs to focus on a wide spectrum of sustainability issues, with a high-priority to critical issues such as air and water quality, biodiversity and climate change.
Significance of the Index
- Identify best policy practices: EPI indicators provide a way to spot problems, set targets, track trends, understand outcomes, and identify best policy practices.
- Formulation of policies: Good data and fact-based analysis can also help government officials refine their policy agendas, facilitate communications with key stakeholders, and maximize the return on environmental investments.
- Helpful to meet targets: The EPI offers a powerful policy tool in support of efforts to meet the targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to move society toward a sustainable future.