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India’s stand in Environment performance Index 2022

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    21st Jun, 2022

Overview

  • Key Highlights of the report
  • Objectives and its significance
  • India’s position and analysis
  • Some Do’s and Don’ts for India
  • Measures to be taken

Context

With an overall score of 18.9, India ranks at the bottom of all countries in the 2022 EPI with low scores across a range of critical issues.

About

  • Environment Performance Index 2022, which lists countries based on the environmental performance of their policies.
  • India is ranked 180th among 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2022. 
  • It has been published by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University.
  • This is a method of quantifying and numerically marking the environmental performance of a state's policies.
  • It uses 40 performance indicators across 11 issue categories, on climate change performance, environmental health, and ecosystem vitality.
  • The overall EPI rankings indicate which countries are best addressing the environmental challenges that every nation faces.
  • It provides a way to spot problems, set targets, track trends, understand outcomes, and identify best policy practices.

Significance of the Index

  • The EPI offers a scorecard that highlights leaders and laggards in environmental performance and provides practical guidance for countries that aspire to move toward a sustainable future.
  • The indicators provide a gauge at a national scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy targets.
  • The Index provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world.
  • Data and fact-based analysis can also help government officials refine their policy agendas, facilitate communications with key stakeholders, and maximise the return on environmental investments.
  • The EPI also 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.

Analysis

What does EPI stated for India?

  • With an overall score of 9, India ranks at the bottom of all countries in the 2022 EPI with low scores across a range of critical issues.
  • Deteriorating air quality and rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions pose especially urgent challenges.
  • Most low-scoring countries such as Myanmar and Vietnam are those that have prioritised economic growth over sustainability, or those that are struggling with civil unrest and other crises.
  • According to EPI, India also ranks poorly in terms of rule of law, corruption control, and government performance.
  • “India slips to the bottom of the rankings for the first time, with increasingly hazardous air quality and quickly rising greenhouse gas emissions,” the report stated.
  • With a score of 27.6, India was ranked 168th in EPI-2020.

What are the concerns recognized for India?

  • On India’s 180th ranking, the Government of India has responded by saying that some indicators are extrapolated and based on surmises and unscientific methods.
  • Some concerns raised by India are:
    • Projected GHG Emissions Levels in 2050 the new indicator in the Climate Policy Objective is calculated using the average rate of change in emissions over the previous ten years rather than modelling that takes into account a longer time period.
    • It also included the level of renewable energy capacity and usage, extra carbon sinks, energy efficiency and so on in the individual nations.
    • China and India are projected to be the largest and second-largest emitters of greenhouse gases in 2050, despite recently promising to curb emission growth rates.
    • The weight of indicators in which the country performed well has been lowered as compared to earlier performances.

What is India’s stand on its performance?

  • The Environment Ministry questioned the ranking stating that some of the indicators it used were "extrapolated" and based on "surmises and unscientific methods".
  • Indicators such as agricultural biodiversity, soil health, food loss and waste are not included, despite the fact that these are critical for developing nations with significant agrarian populations.
  • In the current calculation, historical data on the lowest emission trajectory was ignored.
  • The country’s forests and wetlands are important carbon sinks that have been overlooked while calculating EPI 2022’s predicted GHG emissions trajectory up to 2050.
  • The equity principle is given relatively small weightage in the form of statistics such as GHG emission per capita and GHG emission intensity trend.

Conclusion

India ranked lowest on the parameters set by the Environmental Performance Index. India must make information about its efforts and achievements easily available and verifiable. This will aid in providing a more accurate picture of the country’s environmental performance. The country must conduct an internal review to determine whether its environmental performance is adequate. It must assess if it is adopting sufficiently appropriate steps and implementing policies aimed at promoting human well-being and lowering environmental impact.

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