Skip to main content

Ranking 141, worst in BRICS, India warned: Environmental performance index not linked with GDP growth

By Our Representative
A Yale University, US, report has ranked India 141st among 180 countries worldwide in Environmental Performance Index (EPI), worse than all the “competing” BRICS countries. The report ranks Brazil 46th, Russia 32nd, China 109th, and South Africa 81st.
The ten best performers in EPI are Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, Estonia, Malta, and France. United Kingdom ranks 12th, and the United States ranks 26th.
The report stresses, there is no relationship between countries’ EPI performance and economic development. “For instance, countries located in Europe tend to have higher EPI scores in relation to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita”, while “China and India both have “high GDP per capita but receive low scores on the overall EPI.”
The only consolation for India is, it ranks better than three of the immediate neighbours – Pakistan, which ranks 144th, Bangladesh, ranking 173rd, and Nepal, ranking 149th. Sri Lanka ranks 108th and Bhutan 110th.
While India has improved its performance by 14 points ever since the last report was released (it ranked 155th in 2014), there is little reason to cheer: It ranked 123rd in 2010, and 125th in 2012.
Titled “Global Metrics for the Environment”, the report has been prepared with the active support, among others, of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the top Switzerland based body working for “improving” industrial climate by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders.
Referring to unsafe water, unsafe sanitation, ambient particulate matter pollution, household air pollution from solid fuels, and ambient ozone pollution, the report states, “Some countries, like India, perform poorly across all five environmental risk factors”.
EPI ranks countries’ performance on high-priority environmental issues in two areas, protection of human health and protection of ecosystems, but factors taken into consideration also include tree cover and reduction in carbon intensity.
Pointing out that air pollution is a growing global problem, especially in rapidly developing economies like China and India, the report says, “More than 3.5 billion people, or half of the world’s population, live in nations where average exposure to fine particulate matter exceeds levels the World Health Organization (WHO) considers safe (10 micrograms/m3).”
The report adds, “One-third (1.3 billion) of these people live in the East Asia and Pacific region, where in China and South Korea more than 50 percent of their populations are exposed to unsafe levels of fine particulate matter. In India and Nepal, the percentage is nearly 75 percent.”
Refusing to give credit to the government for recent improvements in air quality in India, the report states, “Responding to pressure from civil society and media, India has created an Air Quality Index (AQI) to measure and track air pollution in the country’s largest cities.”
EPI score for different factors on a scale of 1

The report praises the Aam Aadmi Party’s December 2015 odd-even day driving restriction programme in Delhi as “an emergency measure to reduce pollutant loads, marking an important step forward in combating the air pollution that has plagued the rapidly industrializing country for several decades.”
At the same time, the report states, “India’s air pollution index has received extensive media attention”, yet, “despite its expansion to more than 60 cities, the AQI’s exact data collection method remains unclear”, as there was “absence of a public health advisory system for cities receiving poor AQI scores.”

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Ramchandra Guha on how Gandhi outgrew his Gujarati bania 'parochialism'

By Rajiv Shah
More than a fortnight ago, prominent historian Ramchandra Guha, who calls himself Gandhi scholar and not a Gandhian, came to Ahmedabad. While I was part of a small group of persons who met him at lunch, his lecture on Gandhi in the evening, where he sought to interpret what swaraj meant to Gandhi, surely, interested the selected audience that had been called to listen to him.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.