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Environmental performance index

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Environmental performance index

What to study?

For Prelims: EPI- criteria, rankings and procedure.

For Mains: Significance, performance of India and measures suggested.

 Context: 12th edition of the biennial Environment Performance Index (EPI Index 2020) has been released.

About the index:

The index ranks 180 countries on 32 performance indicators across 11 categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.

The index is a method of quantifying and numerically marking the environmental performance of a state’s policies.

This index was developed from the Pilot Environmental Performance Index, first published in 2002, and designed to supplement the environmental targets set forth in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The EPI was preceded by the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), published between 1999 and 2005. Both indices were developed by Yale University (Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy) and Columbia University (Center for International Earth Science Information Network) in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

Performance of India and neighbours:

India secured 168th rank. The country scored 27.6 out of 100 in the 2020 index.

  • India’s rank was 177 (with a score of 27.6 out of 100) in 2018.
  • 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.
  • It has also scored below the regional average on parameters related to biodiversity and ecosystem services too.
  • Among South Asian countries, India was at second position (rank 106) after Pakistan on ‘climate change’.
  • The 11 countries lagging behind India were — Burundi, Haiti, Chad, Soloman Islands, Madagascar, Guinea, 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.
  • 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.

Global performance:

  • Denmark came in first place, followed by Luxembourg and Switzerland. The United Kingdom ranked fourth.
  • The US is far behind other industrialized nations on environmental performance and now ranks 24th in the world.

Sources: down to earth.