• 12th edition of Environmental Performance Index (EPI Index) was released on 4th June 2020.
• It is a biennial report released twice a year by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the Economic Forum and the European Union.
• Before 2005 Environmental Sustainability Index used to be published. But since 2005 Environmental Performance Index is being published and Environmental Sustainability Index was discontinued.
• India is ranked 168 out of 180 with score of 27.6 out of 100.
About the index:
• The EPI Index ranks 180 countries on 32 performance indicators across 11 categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.
• The index is a method of quantifying and numerically marking the environmental performance of a state’s policies.
• This index was developed from the Pilot Environmental Performance Index, first published in 2002, and designed to supplement the environmental targets set forth in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
• The EPI was preceded by the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), published between 1999 and 2005. Both indices were developed by Yale University (Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy) and Columbia University (Center for International Earth Science Information Network) in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.
Performance of India and neighbors:
• India secured 168th rank. The country scored 27.6 out of 100 in the 2020 index.
• India’s rank was 177 (with a score of 27.6 out of 100) in 2018.
• India scored below the regional average score on all five key parameters on environmental health, including air quality, sanitation and drinking water, heavy metals and waste management.
• It has also scored below the regional average on parameters related to biodiversity and ecosystem services too.
• Among South Asian countries, India was at second position (rank 106) after Pakistan on ‘climate change’.
• The 11 countries lagging behind India were — Burundi, Haiti, Chad, Soloman Islands, Madagascar, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoir, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Liberia.
• All South Asian countries, except Afghanistan, were ahead of India in the ranking.
• Denmark came in first place followed by Luxembourg and Switzerland.
• The United Kingdom ranked fourth.
• The US is ranked 24th far behind other industrialized nations on environmental performance.