India has scored the lowest among 180 countries in the 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) that evaluated the environmental performance of these countries.
India's rank is 180 with a total score of 18.9, and in the last decade the performance has gone down by 0.6 scores. Our neighbouring nations have done better in this regard. Pakistan is ranked at 176 with a score of 24.6 and Bangladesh is at 177 with a score of 23.2.
Nepal is ranked at 162 and Srilanka at 132, while Bhutan is at 85 and Afghanistan at 81.
“Major countries have much more work to do than they may have realized if the world is to avoid the potentially devastating impacts of climate change."Daniel Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy and director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy in a statement by EPI
"We score and rank these countries on their environmental performance using the most recent year of data available and calculate how these scores have changed over the previous decade," says the report.
The report ranks these countries on 40 performance indicators across 11 issue categories on climate change performance, environmental health, and ecosystem vitality. Ranking last means that India's performance on these parameters in terms of policy action is poor.
The analysis has been done by researchers at the Earth Institute of Yale and Columbia University.
India has been given an EPI score of 18.9 EPI.
The three primary categories under which scores have been given are ecosystem vitality, environmental health and climate change performance.
India has scored 19.3 on ecosystem vitality and the change in this area in the last decade is -2. We have seen loss in biodiversity and biodiverse habitats. We have lost tree cover, grasslands, and wetlands in large proportions.
We have scored 12.5 on health; this means poor air quality, sanitation, and drinking water. Our waste management in terms of solid wastes, ocean plastics, and recycling is also poor.
Under climate policy, India has scored 21.7 and is ranked at 165.
"The researchers found strong correlations between EPI scores and government effectiveness, rule of law, regulatory quality, happiness, and gross domestic producer (GDP) per capita."- Statement by the EPI
EPI has said that India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Pakistan's low scores can be attributed to their prioritisation of economic growth over environmental sustainability.
"With markedly poor air quality and quickly rising greenhouse gas emissions, India, for the first time, comes in at the very bottom of country rankings."- Statement by the EPI
Denmark is on the top of the index with an EPI score of 77.9. "Denmark emerges as the most sustainable country in the 2022 rankings, reflecting strong performance across many of the issues tracked by the EPI and notable leadership in climate and sustainable agriculture," said an EPI statement.
Among the top 5 are United Kingdom, Finland, Malta, and Sweden. United States is ranked at 43 with and EPI score of 51.
"The aggregate ranking puts the United States behind most wealthy western democracies, including France (12th), Germany (13th), Australia (17th), Italy (23rd), and Japan (25th),” the EPI said in a statement.
China, India, Russia, and US: The 4 Largest Greenhouse Gas Emitters in 2050
According to EPI projections, China, India, Russia, and the US will not only be the four largest emitters of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) by 2050, they will collectively contribute to 50% of the total GHG emissions.
Only a handful of countries, including the United Kingdom and Denmark, are on track to reach GHG neutrality by 2050, according to EPI projections, EPI said in a statement.
"By 2050, two dozen countries will account for nearly 80% of residual GHG emissions unless climate change policies are strengthened, and emissions trajectories shifted," said a statement by EPI.
"Almost all countries are not on track to meet the net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goal established by the 2021 Glasgow Climate Pact."- Statement by the EPI
More than eight million people die prematurely each year from exposure to indoor and ambient air pollutants. Southern Asian countries, such as India, Nepal, and Pakistan, are particularly lagging in air quality, said EPI's statement.