Govt rejects Environment Performance Index 2022 that put India at bottom among 180 countries

Prabhudatta Mishra | | Updated on: Jun 08, 2022
People walk along Rajpath near India Gate under heavy smog conditions in New Delhi (file photo)

People walk along Rajpath near India Gate under heavy smog conditions in New Delhi (file photo)

Says many indicators based on unfounded assumptions, some used to assess performance are extrapolated, based on surmises and unscientific methods

The Environment Ministry on Wednesday rebutted the Environmental Performance Index 2022 after it ranked India at the bottom of a list of 180 countries and pointed out that some of the indicators it used are “based on surmises and unscientific methods”.

The EPI index released by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University, in the US had used 40 performance indicators across 11 categories to judge countries on climate change performance, environmental health and ecosystem vitality.

“The Environmental Performance Index 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.

“A new indicator in the climate policy objective is GHG emissions levels in 2050 (projected). This is computed based on the average rate of change in emission of the last 10 years instead of modelling that takes into account a longer time period, extent of renewable energy capacity and use, additional carbon sinks, energy efficiency etc of respective countries,” the ministry said.

The principle of equity is given very low weightage in the form of indicators like GHG emission per capita and GHG emission intensity trend, the statement said. The Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR–RC) principle is also barely reflected in the composition of the index, it said.

CBDR–RC acknowledges the different capabilities and differing responsibilities of individual countries in addressing climate change. Forests and wetlands of the country are crucial carbon sinks but have not been factored in while computing the projected GHG emissions trajectory up to 2050. Historical data on the lowest emission trajectory has been ignored in the computation, it pointed out.

The ministry also said that the weight of the indicators in which India performed well has been reduced and the reasons for such change have not been explained in the report. The indicators on water quality, water use efficiency, waste generation per capita which are closely linked to sustainable consumption and production are not included in the Index, the Ministry said.

“The index emphasises the extent of protected areas rather than the quality of protection that they afford. Management, effectiveness and evaluation of protected areas and eco-sensitive regions is not factored into the computation of biodiversity indices,” the Ministry said.

Published on June 08, 2022
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