Environmental Performance Index (EPI)
- The latest Environmental Performance Index (EPI) carried out by Yale and Columbia Universities has placed India at the last position among the 180 countries.
- The study, which was conducted by Yale and Columbia Universities with a focus on climate change mitigation, has sparked controversy because it prioritises the flow of greenhouse gases from countries while ignoring the stock of carbon dioxide from industrialised countries, which is warming the planet.
- India would clearly do considerably better if countries were penalised for their CO2 stock in the atmosphere rather than measured their reduction measures over a decade.
- The EPI is less contentious because it focuses on air quality, waste management, and environmental conservation initiatives.
What is the response of the government?
- India is under pressure to increase its ambition and commitment to the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious 1.5° Celsius objective for temperature rise, rather than the less stringent target of well below 2°C.
- India performs higher in sub-metrics such as black carbon, methane, and fluorinated gas growth rates, and greenhouse gas emissions based on intensity and per capita volumes within the total climate score.
- The country is rated low on expected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the mid-century period, with a goal of Net Zero emissions.
- China, India, the United States, and Russia are predicted to account for more than half of global residual greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to the EPI analysis.
- If regulations on luxury urban emissions were geared at aiding poorer Indians, the national justification would be stronger.
- High fuel and vehicle taxes could exclusively promote change and build a green commons such as clean public transportation, cycling, and pedestrianisation in the transportation sector (which accounts for around 13% of emissions).
- Although the national aim of achieving Net Zero emissions by 2070 gives a longer timescale for coal phaseout, strategies that prevent carbon lock-in can benefit other regions.
- Emissions from buildings, particularly carbon incorporated in construction materials like cement and steel, can be reduced.
Source The Hindu