Environment Performance Index 2022: India ranked lowest for the first time

New York, June 12 (KMS): The Environment Performance Index 2022, jointly prepared by Yale and Columbia University has put India in the lowest position in the list of 180 countries even below Sudan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

The report analyses the guidelines and efforts taken by the nations to counter climate change, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), environmental health, and ecosystem vitality. The composite performance of the countries based on these parameters reflects in the ranking.

The report accessed nations based on 40 parameters in 11 categories to monitor the progress of countries in the field of environment protection. India has been ranked at 179th position in terms of Air Quality and 178th in Ecosystem Vitality.

As per the report, the composite score of India is 18.9 in parameters such as government effectiveness and regularity quality. The report cited that the “deteriorating air quality and rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions” are posing major challenges.

The report also emphasised the growing marine pollution from plastics and other waste materials. It stated that “Indonesia and India are the top two generators of marine plastic waste. Indonesia generates 1.4 million tons of ocean plastic each year, 16% of the global total, but the island nation has taken several positive steps to counteract these problems”.

However, the Indian government has refuted the report saying that the report is “extrapolated and based on surmises and unscientific methods”.

The government also criticised the parameters which were analysed in the report and said “Efforts must be made to include metrics that truly capture ecosystem productivity such that regulatory, provisioning as well as cultural services provided by various ecosystems like forests, wetlands, croplands are assessed and reflected in performance.”

The government also dismissed the extrapolation of emissions for 2050 based on the 2010-2019 data. It labelled these parameters as “biased metrics and biased weights” and claimed that the report did not account for the parameters on agricultural biodiversity, soil health, forests, and wetlands.

All in all, even if the parameters of the report are not accurate and are somewhat biased, the ranking will not turn upside down. The state of environmental protection efforts and awareness are quite weak in the country lately.

There needs to be conscious climate change and pollution mitigation efforts all around the year and not just on the eve of Diwali or circulations of frightening photos of the river Yamuna.

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