Countries Leading in Environmental Performance: EPI 2020 Insights and Highlights

How can we gauge the current state of environmental sustainability worldwide? Which countries have shown proven dedication to addressing vital environmental issues - which are lagging behind?

We caught up with Zach Wendling, Principle Investigator and Postdoctoral Associate at the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, for his key insights from the Environmental Performance Index 2020.

Zach, which findings of the Environmental Performance Index did you find the most intriguing?

Denmark’s #1 rank in the 2020 EPI highlights the importance of countries making a concerted effort on all fronts to build a sustainable future. What really distinguishes Denmark, though, is its comprehensive commitment to decarbonization, rising above even its peers in making significant and substantial cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, with bold pledges of more to come.

In contrast, the United States, another wealthy democracy, places only 24th – far from being a leader.

China’s rank at 120th in the world puts it at the bottom of the middle third. It’s important to recognize the real progress China has made – environmental policy pulling it out of the bottom tier – while also seeing they still have far to go.

India, however, at 168th out of 180 countries, is a cautionary tale of how low a country can sink after decades of neglecting even basic environmental problems like air quality.

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The Editorial Team

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