World Economic Forum- India ranks in the 5 worst countries in the world on Environmental Index

World Economic Forum- India ranks in the 5 worst countries in the world on Environmental Index

It does take the World Economic Forum to figure out how bad the state of the Environment is in India. 2017 has been particularly bad when it comes to the air quality. But now the report says that India's position has dropped dramatically to be ranked 177 out of 180 countries. India was at 141 in 2016 but now the lowered ranking would make the lawmakers watch this closely.
The newest global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) rankings released on the tangent of the World Economic Forum meet in Davos (
How did EPI reach this figure?
The EPI ranks these 180 countries on 24 performance indicators across 10 issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality. The latest biennial report by the Yale and Columbia universities in collaboration with the WEF said- "India and Bangladesh come in near the bottom of the rankings, with Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nepal rounding out the bottom five". Further the report said- the low ranking of the emerging economies – China (120) and India – reflect "the strain population pressures and rapid economic growth impose on the environment". It also reflected that substantial populations still suffer from poor air quality, most notably in India, China, and Pakistan (169). "Low scores on the EPI are indicative of the need for national sustainability efforts on a number of fronts, especially cleaning up air quality, protecting biodiversity and reducing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions," said the report. It stated that some of the lowest-ranking nations face "broader challenges (like) civil unrest but the low scores for others can be attributed to weak governance". (
Switzerland leads the world in protecting the environment and sustainable practices, followed by France, Denmark, Malta, and Sweden. In general, higher rank shows long-standing commitments to protecting public health, preserving natural resources, and decoupling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from economic activity. The US ranked 27th in the 2018 EPI, with strong scores on issues, such as sanitation and air quality. But, the country's weak performance on issues such as deforestation and GHG emissions puts it behind other rich nations like France (2), the United Kingdom (6), Germany (13), Italy (16), Japan (20), and Canada (25). (
India and Bangladesh come in near the bottom. Burundi is last. (
Developing economies suffer
Coauthor Alexander de Sherbinin, a researcher at Columbia's Center for International Earth Science Information Network, said the new report confirms broad trends evident in past editions. "In terms of policy, let's face it, more developed countries with better governance tend to do better, but there is variation within the affluent countries–witness the United States," he said. (
China and India, both with fast-growing economies, rank 120th and 177th respectively. This reflects the strains that population pressures and rapid economic growth impose on the environment, said the researchers. (
The researchers say the global community is generally improving on a number of issues, such as health outcomes related to drinking water and sanitation, and protection of marine ecosystems. However, fisheries continue to deteriorate in most countries, with the most significant problems in El Salvador, Papua New Guinea and Portugal. And, documented in the new report as well as past ones: huge populations still suffer from poor air quality, most notably in India, China and Pakistan. (
It is a world challenge
A small number of countries are failing to address critical problems at all. Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia, for example, have experienced significant deforestation over the past five years, reflecting broad policy failures, said the researchers. (
National income is a major determinant of environmental success, but some investments pay off quickly in less wealthy countries, they said. Investments in safe drinking water and modern sanitation, in particular, translate quickly into improved environmental health. "Sustainable development requires both economic progress that generates the resources to invest in environmental infrastructure, and careful management of industrialization and urbanization that can lead to pollution," said coauthor Daniel C. Esty, director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy. (
Money is important but so is health
As the old saying goes if money is lost nothing is lost, but if health is lost everything is lost. A government that promises to be the only nationalist party capable of taking India to being the best country in the world should not be ignoring the health of its population. But India's rank is deteriorating and fast. If India does not concentrate on these important indicators of success, the population will continue to suffer with poor health. What good would success then be. Time for the Indian government to take stock and take action.

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