Global Metrics for the Environment, 2016 REPORT, Environmental Performance Index (12 page pdf, Yale University, Jan. 24, 2016)
Also discussed here: U.S. Could Do Much More To Protect The Environment, Report Finds (Huffington Post, Jan. 27, 2016)
And here:Environmental Performance Index- Air Quality (Yale University, Jan. 24, 2016)
Today we review the 2016 Environmental Performance Index, prepared by Yale University which ranks the performance of countries in two areas: protection of human health and protection of Ecosystems. While improvements were seen in most categories, air quality is becoming worse mainly as a result of increased concentrations of fine particulate matter, especially in urban areas. While only 2% of global deaths (1.24 million) are caused by unsafe drinking water (and that is due to 80% of waste water not being treated), poor air quality caused 10% of global deaths (5.52 deaths). Overall, Finland tops the list in all categories with policy commitments made to achieve carbon neutral status by 2050. Other Scandinavian countries are near the top while North American countries such as Canada (ranked overall at #16) or the USA (ranked 26) are not achieving as much. This also applies to air quality where Canada at #26 and USA at #36.
“The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks countries’ performance on high-priority environmental issues in two areas: protection of human health and protection of ecosystems.”
“Finland has taken the top spot, followed by Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, and Slovenia. Finland’s top ranking stems from its societal commitment to achieve a carbon-neutral society that does not exceed nature’s carrying capacity by 2050,”
“The Index’s bottom third, comprised mostly of African countries with a smattering of South and East Asian nations, is a list of troubled states whose problems extend beyond their inability to sustain environmental and human health”
“In 2013, unsafe water was responsible for 2 percent of global deaths (~1.24 million), while poor air quality was responsible for 10 percent of all global deaths (~5.52 million).”
“More than 3.5 billion people - half of the world’s population - live in nations with unsafe air quality.”
“34 percent of global fish stocks are overexploited or collapsed.”
“More than 80 percent of the world’s discharged wastewater is untreated when it’s released into the environment.”
“Around one-third of countries scored on Climate and Energy are reducing their carbon intensity”
“Environmental regulations in the country [USA] are less stringent than regulations in some European countries, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. And congressional Republicans have repeatedly tried to weaken regulations the Environmental Protection Agency has put into place”
"While many environmental problems are the result of industrialization, our findings show that both poor and wealthy nations suffer from serious air pollution,"
"With the very survival of the planet at stake, we hope leaders will be inspired to act -- especially in urban areas where an increasing majority of the world's population lives.”