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India figures at bottom of Global Environment Index; Govt calls Index “unscientific”

News Agencies

New Delhi, June 8:  India has figured at the bottom on a list of 180 countries on the global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2022.

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. The EPI provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world.

The Union Environment Ministry has questioned India’s raking in the 2022 Index, saying some of the indicators it used are “extrapolated and based on surmises and unscientific methods”.

“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,” the ministry said in a statement.

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

Using 40 performance indicators across 11 issue categories, the EPI ranks 180 countries on climate change performance, environmental health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators provide a gauge at a national scale of how close the countries are to established environmental policy targets.

“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,” the report read.

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.

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