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Environment Performance Index 2022: India Ranks Lowest Among 180 Countries; Government Rejects Findings

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 Environment Performance Index 2022 report says

India Ranks Lowest Among 180 Countries Rejects Environment Performance Index 2022 Report
According to the Ministry of Environment and Forest the weight of the indicators in which India performed well has been reduced and the reasons for such change have not been explained in the report
  • 40 performance indicators across 11 categories were used for ranking
  • Denmark topped the Environmental Performance Index with a score of 77.90
  • China is placed 161st, with an overall EPI score of 28.4

New Delhi: The Union environment ministry on Wednesday (June 8), rejected the findings of Environmental Performance Index 2022, by US-based institutions which ranked India at the bottom of a list of 180 countries. The index published recently by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University, used 40 performance indicators across 11 categories to judge countries on climate change performance, environmental health and ecosystem vitality.

Also Read:India Could Become Carbon Neutral Before Its 2070 Goal, IRENA Chief Says

Among all, Denmark topped the 2022 in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), followed by the United Kingdom and Finland, which earned high scores for slashing greenhouse gas emissions in recent years.

Rejecting the environment performance index, the Union Environment Ministry said,

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2022 released recently has many indicators based on unfounded assumptions. Some of these indicators used for assessing performance are extrapolated and based on surmises and unscientific methods. A new indicator in the climate policy objective is ‘projected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions levels in 2050’. This is computed based on the average rate of change in emission of the last 10 years instead of modelling that takes into account a longer time period, extent of renewable energy capacity and use, additional carbon sinks, energy efficiency etc. of respective countries.

According to the report of the environment performance index,

The lowest scores go to India (18.9), Myanmar (19.4), Vietnam (20.1), Bangladesh (23.1) and Pakistan (24.6). 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.

Also Read:Climate Crisis Can Be Tackled By Placing People At The Heart Of Climate Action: Researchers

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, the researchers claimed.

However, rejecting the analysis of the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2022 report, the Environment Ministry further said,

Forests and wetlands of the country are crucial carbon sinks but have not been factored in while computing the projected GHG emissions trajectory up to 2050 given by EPI 2022. Historical data on the lowest emission trajectory has been ignored in the computation.

The ministry said the weight of the indicators in which India performed well has been reduced and the reasons for such change have not been explained in the report.

The principle of equity is given very low weightage in the form of indicators like greenhouse gas emission (GHG) per capita and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) intensity trend. The Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) principle is also barely reflected in the composition of the index.

According to the EPI report, lagging behind its peers, the United States is placed 20th out of the 22 wealthy democracies in the Global West and 43rd overall. This relatively low ranking reflects the rollback of environmental protections during the Trump administration.

Also Read: Climate Change Mitigating Behaviour A Greater Challenge For Developed Nations: Chief Economic Adviser Dr V Anantha Nageswaran

Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR–RC) acknowledges the different capabilities and differing responsibilities of individual countries in addressing climate change.

The Union environment ministry also highlighted that the indicators on water quality, water use efficiency, waste generation per capita which are closely linked to sustainable consumption and production are not included in the Index.

The index emphasises the extent of protected areas rather than the quality of protection that they afford. Management, effectiveness and evaluation of protected areas and eco-sensitive regions is not factored into the computation of biodiversity indices.

The index computes the extent of ecosystems but not their condition or productivity. It did not include indicators like agro biodiversity, soil health, food loss and waste even though they are important for developing countries with large agrarian populations.

Russia is ranked 112th on the list, EPI projections indicate that just four countries China, India, the US and Russia will account for over 50 per cent of residual global greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 if the current trends hold.

Also Read: World Environment Day 2022: Only One Earth Is The Theme This Year

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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