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Approach:

  1. Introduction.
  2. Mention about India’s poor assessment in EPI.
  3. Mention the objections raised by India w.r.t its lowest ranking.
  4. Conclusion.

The recently released Environmental Performance Index 2022, by Yale & Columbia Universities, has ranked India at the bottom position among 180 countries. This has invited rebuttal from the MoEF&CC stating that it is based on “unfounded assumptions”.

India’s poor assessment: with a rank of 180 and a score of 18.9, India has fallen from rank 168 and a score of 27.6 in 2020. India comes after Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Myanmar, among the poorest performers.

India’s objection : India has stated that some of the indicators used for assessing the performance are extrapolated and based on unscientific methods. The Baseline data has not been used, and there has been no explanation for the weightages assigned to certain indicators. The shifting of weightage on many indicators has resulted in India’s low ranking. E.g., for black Carbon growth, India’s score improved from 32 in 2020 to 100 in 2022, but the weightage of the indicator has been reduced to 0.0038 (2022) from 0.018 (2020).

India has also objected to calculations of GHG projections for 2050. The projection for GHG emissions has been computed based on the average rate of change in emission of the last 10 years, rather than taking into account a longer period, extent of renewable energy capacity and use, additional C-sinks, energy efficiency, etc. Also, India’s low energy trajectory has been ignored low weightage given to per-capita GHG emissions. The biodiversity computation indices does not factor in management effectiveness evaluation of protected areas. Indicators like agro-biodiversity, soil health, food loss & waste are not included even though they are important factors for developing countries with large agrarian populations.

The environmental scientists also termed the report as “highly problematic”, and that it is neither ethically correct nor reflects the political reality.

Despite issues with the Environmental performance Index, India does have persisting environmental issues which must be identifies, highlighted and addressed as quickly as possible.

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