The UK has come fourteenth in an international league table ranking national environmental performance.
It received a score of 86.3 out of 100 and was ranked according to sanitation, greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural policies, air pollution and 20 other measures to formulate an overall score.
The UK was behind fellow G8 nations Germany (13), Canada (12) and France (10) but ahead of the Japan (21), Italy (24) Russia (28) and the US (39). The US came 39th among 149 countries on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), conducted by researchers at Yale and Columbia universities.
Top ten countries, with scores of 87 or better, were European nations Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Finland. The other nations in the top echelons were Austria, France, Latvia, Costa Rica, Colombia and New Zealand.
Daniel Esty, report author and director of the Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy, said: “Switzerland is the most greenhouse gas efficient economy in the developed world. ”
India, China and Australia ranked among the bottom 25 nations in terms of total climate change scores.
What is the EPI?
The Environmental Performance Index is ‘an Initiative of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP) and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) of Columbia University, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.’
The 2008 EPI centers on two broad environmental protection objectives:
(1) reducing environmental stresses on human health, and
(2) promoting ecosystem vitality and sound natural resource management.
Environmental health and ecosystem vitality are gauged using 25 indicators tracked in six policy categories: Environmental Health, Air Pollution (effects on ecosytems), Water (effects on ecosystems), Productive Natural Resources, Biodiversity and Habitat, and Climate Change. The EPI utilizes a proximity-to-target methodology focused on a core set of environmental outcomes linked to policy goals. The 2008 EPI includes 149 countries based on data availability.
Detailed information on the EPI