Environmental Performance Index 2020: India ranked 168th out of 180 countries

Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2020” has been released by the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, Yale University and Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University. EPI 2020 is the 22nd edition of the Environmental Performance Index report. The 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) gives us a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world. The EPI was topped by Denmark, and India was ranked 168th out of 180 countries examined by the index. The 2020 EPI features new metrics that calculates waste management, carbon dioxide emissions from land cover change, and emissions of fluorinated gases which are key drivers of the climate change.

About Environmental Performance Index 2020:

The 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) gives us a data-driven summary of the condition of sustainability around the world. The EPI has ranked 180 countries by using 32 performance indicators across 11 issue categories involving environmental health and ecosystem vitality as the policy objectives. The EPI provides a scorecard that indicates the leaders as well as the laggards in the environmental performance. The report also offers practical guidance for countries that aims to move toward a sustainable future. Over and above, the EPI rankings specify those countries which are best in addressing the environmental challenges that every nation experiences.

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Policy Objective & Issue Categories:

The Environmental Performance Index 2020 was based on two Policy Objectives comprising of 11 Issue Categories.

The two Policy Objectives are:

  • Environmental Health
  • Ecosystem Vitality

The Policy Objective titled “Environmental Health” comprised of 4 Issue Categories namely:

  • Air Quality
  • Sanitation & Drinking Water
  • Heavy Metals
  • Waste Management

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The Policy Objective titled “Ecosystem Vitality” comprised of 7 Issue Categories namely:

  • Biodiversity & Habitat
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Fisheries
  • Climate Change
  • Pollution Emissions
  • Agriculture
  • Water Resources

The above 11 Issue Categories further comprised of 32 indicators of environmental performance for 180 countries. All of the above together aggregated into an EPI Score.

Key findings of Environmental Performance Index 2020:

  • The Environmental Performance Index 2020 was topped by Denmark with an EPI score of 82.5, followed by Luxembourg (82.3), Switzerland (81.5), United Kingdom (81.3), and France (80.0) at 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th position respectively out of 180 countries ranked by the index.
  • India was ranked 168th along with Ghana, out of 180 countries with an EPI score of 27.6 in the 2020 Environmental Performance Index.
  • Liberia stood at the bottom in the EPI rankings with an EPI score of 22.6.

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India in the Environmental Performance Index 2020:

  • The report states that India struggled to perform well on several of the 2020 EPI’s environmental issue categories such as Air Quality at which the country was placed at 179th position just above Pakistan which stood at 180th place.
  • India was placed at 148th position in the world in the issue category “biodiversity & habitat“, hence failing to maximize the conservation capacity of its protected areas.
  • India was placed 106th in the world on climate change mitigation.

As India scored low EPI score, the report suggests a need for national sustainability efforts on a number of fronts such as air and water pollution, biodiversity protection, and the transition to a clean energy future. The report also found no overall improvement in environmental performance of India over the past decade except some gains and losses on individual issues.

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