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DATA STORY : Environment Performance Index

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Published: 18th Jun, 2022

The Environment Performance Index ranks 180 countries on 40 performance indicators across 11 categories to judge countries on climate change performance, environmental health and ecosystem vitality.

The Index was developed by the Center for Environmental Law & Policy at Yale University and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

The EPI is a biennial index. It quantifies and numerically ranks the environmental performance of a country based on the three broad issues of ecosystem vitality, health, and climate policy. It was first started in 2002 as the ESI, or the Environment Sustainability Index.

Significance of the Index

  • Identify best policy practices: EPI indicators provide a way to spot problems, set targets, track trends, understand outcomes, and identify best policy practices.
  • Formulation of policies: Good data and fact-based analysis can also help government officials refine their policy agendas, facilitate communications with key stakeholders, and maximize the return on environmental investments.
  • Helpful to meet targets: The EPI 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.

India has been placed at the bottom on a list of 180 countries. Most low-scoring countries are those that have prioritised economic growth over sustainability or those that are struggling with civil unrest and other crises. India, with increasingly dangerous air quality and rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions, falls to the bottom of rankings for the first time. China is placed 161st, with an overall EPI score of 28.4. 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.

This data story aims to highlight the recent findings of the Environment Performance Index.

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