Wednesday, January 25, 2006
The NY Times and Washington Post have reported the US bottomline in the 2006 Environmental Performance Index, developed by Yale and Columbia. But here's more. 2006 EPI Rankings
The Pilot 2006 Environmental Performance Index, developed by the Center for Environmental Law & Policy at Yale University and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, will be formally released in Davos, Switzerland, at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum on Thursday, 26 January 2006, but is currently available online. Full 2006 EPI Report
The index benchmarks national pollution control and natural resource management results. The index focuses on two goals shared by policymakers, including the internationally agreed upon UN Millennium Development Goals: 1) reducing environmental stresses on human health and 2) protecting ecosystem vitality. Environmental health and ecosystem vitality are gauged using sixteen indicators tracked in six established policy categories: Environmental Health, Air Quality, Water Resources, Biodiversity and Habitat, Productive Natural Resources, and Sustainable Energy.
The EPI differs from the Environmental Sustainability Index because it stresses a comparison of current conditions with targets as opposed to long term sustainability. Underdeveloped African countries may be relatively unpolluted (and therefore rank high on long-term sustainability), but may not be providing drinking water and sanitation services for their current population. Other countries, such as the UK and Germany, may be handling current environmental challenges well, but face difficult long-term sustainability problems. For a comparison of the ESI and EPI, see Appendix E. Comparison of ESI and EPI