Environmental performance

Amongst developed countries, we’re nothing special, ranking 51st. This is from the Yale Environmental Performance Index. Though plenty of caveats need to be kept in mind, and the report itself is full of the implicit assumption that everything is always and everywhere better when it’s quantitatively measured (something that isn’t true), it seems to be about as thorough as these things can reasonably be.

Here’s their map of the world. If you’re keen on the environment head to Scandinavia (with France being an honorary Scandinavian for these purposes)  and better still North West Scandinavia (Iceland), which also seems to be making a better fist of recovering from it’s GFC meltdown than other countries (hint: if things get too bad, default). Antarctica and Greenland are also in pretty good shape, though I hear they can get quite cold.


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7 Responses to Environmental performance

  1. Patrick says:

    With Greenouse gas emissions accounting for 12.5%, there is a strong bias to having an established nuclear power industry – I suspect that this accounts for a large amount of France’s honorary scandinavianishness.

  2. conrad says:

    Given the oceans are getting more and more fished out, polluted, etc., perhaps someone should think about them one day.

  3. paul walter says:

    51st and slipping, Id guess, since we are the “51st state”. With dumbing down will come the futher deterioration of enviro policy- witness the garbage from the major parties as enviro again comes a distant last to corporate concerns.

  4. Patrick says:

    Conrad, first, that comment is really close to a non sequitur. Secondly, it is a bit inane since over 5% of the EPI score above is ocean-related…

    Gee, PW, ’51st state’ and 51st on this graph, to paraphrase NG’s next post, what about conspiracies to inane to mention…?

  5. conrad says:

    It was a serious comment Patrick — I was thinking of places like China where it’s hard to imagine how polluted the sea is (indeed, you probably wouldn’t want too!). I was also thinking more generally, that basically most of the world’s fisheries are decimated, many species of fish have no doubt become extinct before we’ve even identified them, coral reefs are collapsing from increased acidity and polllution etc. . This is why it would be interesting to have a graph with the bits of sea filled in the same way the bits of land are. It would also be interesting to see how international areas compare with ones owned by different countries.

  6. Pingback: Australia & the environmental performance index « Harry Clarke

  7. hc says:

    The relatively poor Australian score seems largely due to lack of climate policy action and water resource issues. Interesting air pollution was seen as a significant concern though the measures taken seem more appropriate in demographically dense nations. Australia also didn’t shine in protecting critical biodiversity habitats.

    I can believe the climate and water findings but the others don’t seem entirely right.

    Australia scores near perfect on health implications of environmental quality which comprised 50% of the index.

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