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Sansad TV: Perspective- Environmental Performance Index- 2022

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Introduction:

‘Environmental Performance Index-2022 ‘ has been published by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, the index has used 40 performance indicators across 11 categories to judge the environmental health and sustainability of countries. Among 180 countries that have been ranked, India has been placed at the bottom with a paltry score of 18.9…The other countries in the bottom 5 include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Myanmar. India has rebutted and raised questions on the, In a statement the Union Environment ministry said and I quote, “The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 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.

EPI:

  • India scored the lowest among 180 countries in this 2022 Environment Performance Index (EPI), an analysis by researchers of Yale and Columbia University which provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world.
  • The 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world.
  • Using 40 performance indicators across 11 issue categories, the EPI ranks 180 countries on climate change performance, environmental health, and ecosystem vitality.
  • These indicators provide a gauge at a national scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy targets. The EPI offers a scorecard that highlights leaders and laggards in environmental performance and provides practical guidance for countries that aspire to move toward a sustainable future.

India place and response:

  • The methodology does not consider per capita emissions and different socio-economic conditions across countries.
  • The weight of indicators in which India was performing well has been reduced.
  • The principle of equity is given very low weightage in the form of the indicators like GHG emission per capita and GHG emission intensity trend.
  • The common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC) principle is also barely reflected in the composition of the index.
  • Forests and wetlands, which act as crucial carbon sinks, have not been factored in while computing the projected GHG emissions trajectory up to 2050 by EPI 2022.

India’s action for Climate Change

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): outlines existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation. The Action Plan identifies eight core “national missions” running through to 2017: Solar Energy; Enhanced Energy Efficiency; Sustainable Habitat; Water; Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem; Green India; Sustainable Agriculture; and Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change. Most of these missions have strong adaptation imperatives.
  • National Clean Energy Fund: The Government of India created the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) in 2010 for financing and promoting clean energy initiatives and funding research in the area of clean energy in the country. The corpus of the fund is built by levying a cess of INR 50 (subsequently increased to INR 100 in 2014) per tonne of coal produced domestically or imported.
  • Paris Agreement: Under the Paris Agreement, India has made three commitments. India’s greenhouse gas emission intensity of its GDP will be reduced by 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030. Alongside, 40% of India’s power capacity would be based on non-fossil fuel sources. At the same time, India will create an additional ‘carbon sink’ of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Co2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • International Solar Alliance: ISA was launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November 2015 by India and France, in the presence of Mr. Ban Ki Moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • Bharat Stage (BS) Emission Norms: Emissions from vehicles are one of the top contributors to air pollution, which led the government at the time to introduce the BS 2000 (Bharat Stage 1) vehicle emission norms from April 2000, followed by BS-II in 2005. BS-III was implemented nationwide in 2010. However, in 2016, the government decided to meet the global best practices and leapfrog to BS-VI norms by skipping BS V altogether.