New Delhi: India scored the lowest in the 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), an analysis by researchers at Yale and Columbia University that provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world. The EPI, which ranks 180 countries on 40 performance indicators including climate change, environmental public health, biodiversity, etc., ranked India 180th due to its poor policies and implementation on several environmental fronts.
The 2022 EPI, which was published on May 31, has Denmark in first place, emerging as the most sustainable country in the 2022 ranking, due to its strong performance in many sectors, particularly climate and sustainable agriculture. Other high-scoring nations include the United Kingdom and Finland, both of which earn top rankings for their strong climate change performance driven by policies that have substantially reduced greenhouse gas emissions in recent years, the EPI said.
The United States is falling behind its peers in wealthy nations. It ranked 43rd out of 180 countries in the index. “This ranking reflects the rollback of environmental protections during the Trump Administration, which repealed or weakened nearly 100 environmental regulations, withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, and weakened fuel efficiency standards.
The aggregate ranking places the United States behind most wealthy Western democracies, including France (12), Germany (13), Australia (17), Italy (23), and Japan (25),” the EPI said in a statement. . EPI has projected that the United States will be among the top four emitters of greenhouse gases in 2050, along with China, India and Russia. More than 50% of emissions in 2050 are projected to come from China, India, the United States and Russia, based on the countries’ projected trajectories based on data from 2010 to 2019.
Very few countries, including the UK and Denmark, are on track to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, according to EPI projections. These countries have enacted some of the most ambitious climate change policies in the world. For example, Denmark has set a national goal of reducing emissions by 70% by 2030 compared to the 1990 level and has recently extended taxes on greenhouse gases.
India has prioritized economic growth over environmental sustainability, the EPI team said based on their analysis of the 40 parameters. “Lowest scores generally come from countries struggling with civil unrest or other crises, including Myanmar and Haiti, or nations that have prioritized economic growth over environmental sustainability, such as India, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Pakistan. With markedly poor air quality and rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions, India, for the first time, sits at the bottom of the country rankings. Poor air quality and rising GHG emissions continue to affect China’s EPI ranking, with the nation ranking 160th out of 180 countries on the 2022 scorecard,” EPI said in a statement.
Urbanization and industrialization in these and other countries continue to emit dangerous levels of air pollution, presenting a challenge to policymakers looking to develop sustainability plans for cities, according to the report. India was ranked 168th in the 2020 EPI and 177th in the 2018 EPI, but the EPI FAQ says that the results of different years cannot be compared because the parameters evaluated have changed.
“Major countries have much more work to do than they may have thought if the world is to avoid the potentially devastating impacts of climate change,” said Daniel Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy and director of the Center for Environmental Law and Yale Politics. Policy that produces PPE.
The EPI score seems to contradict the announcements made by the Center. For example, Prime Minister Modi said Sunday on the occasion of World Environment Day that India achieved the target of blending 10% ethanol in gasoline, 5 months ahead of schedule. In 2014, the ethanol blend was only 1.5%. There are three clear benefits of achieving this goal, he explained. This has led to a reduction of 27 lakh tons of carbon emissions and the increase in ethanol blending has also saved foreign exchange value. $41,000 crores. India has also managed to reach 40% of installed electrical capacity from non-fossil fuel based sources, 9 years ahead of schedule. In 2015, as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, India committed to achieving 40% of its installed electricity capacity from non-fossil energy sources by 2030.
He launched a global movement titled ‘Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE)’ on Sunday and urged all countries to join the movement to tackle the climate crisis by following sustainable lifestyles focused on reducing, reusing and recycling.