India's lowest rank in EPI: Contradiction between India's Commitments and action

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India is ranked lowest in the recently released Environmental Performance Index 2022. Although the Government of India has refused to accept this index, but somewhere it is showing the contradiction between India's Commitments and action

Recently the Environmental Performance Index 2022 was released by the World Economic Forum and Yale University. In this index, India was ranked lowest among 180 countries. This index was opposed by the Government of India. The Union Environment Ministry has rejected this index, . India stated that some of the indicators used by the index are extrapolated and based on conjecture and unscientific methods.

What is the Environmental Performance Index

  • The Environmental Performance Index is a biennial index that was launched firstly in 2002 by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Yale Center for Environmental Law, the International Earth Science Information Network, and Columbia University. At that time it was known as the Environmental Sustainability Index.
  • The Environmental Performance Index 2022 has been aggregated into 3 policy objectives:
    • Environmental health
    • ecosystem vitality
    • Climate change.
  • Denmark has been ranked top in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) in 2022.

Environment Performance Index 2022 and India

  • India has been ranked 180th in the Environmental Performance Index 2022 with a modest score of 18.9.
  • India's score on the change in ecosystem vitality over the last decade is 19.3.
  • The country's score on health is 12.5, and the reasons for this lowest score are attributed to poor air quality, lack of drinking water, and sanitation.
  • India's waste management is also poor in terms of marine plastics, solid waste, and recycling.
  • It should be noted that India was ranked 177 in 2018 but India had registered an improvement by getting 168th place in the 2020 EPI Index.

The reason for India's poor ranking:  Contradiction between India's Commitments and action

It is said that India's environmental decisions show a policy conflict. Along with this, there is a wide difference in the India's environmental declarations and their realities. That are described as follows -

Conflicts related to non-fossil energy:-

India has claimed in COP-26 (Glasgow Convention) that India will reduce the country's fossil energy by 50% by 2030. But according to the @75 report of NITI Aayog, coal accounts for 49.6 percent of India's gross energy, followed by oil (28 percent), biomass (11.6 percent), gas (7.3 percent), renewable and clean energy (2.2 percent). ) and nuclear power (1.2 percent). In this way, 77.6% of fossil energy is used. It is difficult to reduce fossil energy by 27% by 2030.

Controversies related to renewable energy:

India has claimed in COP-26 (Glasgow Convention) that India will get 50% of the country's energy requirement from renewable energy by 2030. But  according to the data till July 2019, the total installed capacity of electricity in the country was 360456 MW. In which thermal power contributes 63.2% hydro-nuclear power 1.9% and renewable energy 22.0%. It may be noted that with the launch of the National Action Plan on Climate Change in India, work on renewable energy sources has started effectively since 2008. In the last about 15 years, this progress has been 22%, so reaching 50% in the next 8 years only shows the " Contradiction between India's Commitments and action ".

 Energy Requirement and Net-Zero:-

There is a need for continuous energy for the success of schemes like Make in India, Startup India, Digital India in India, and the target of surplus production to make the economy export-oriented. India's young population consumes more energy. The mode of transport itself represents 13% of gross emissions. The goal of net zero by 2070 appears difficult to achieve in light of the lack of investment in renewable energy, and the problem of international finance.

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