The U.S. Drops 22 Spots in the Environmental Performance Index


Anyone who’s ever read the op-ed section of a newspaper or heard the word “Climategate” tossed around by a talking head shouldn’t be too surprised by the news that the US is actually losing ground in its Environmental Performance Index ranking. Planet Green has the full story analyzing the significance behind America’s failing environmental grades.

Last year, the U.S. ranked 39th on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI). This year, 61st.

The index, LiveScience reports, “ranks 163 countries based on 10 indicators of environmental protection, such as levels of air pollution, marine protection laws, water quality, and their rate of planting new trees.”

The leading countries are not a huge surprise – Iceland came in first, Switzerland second, Costa Rica third and Sweden fourth.

LiveScience quotes one of the project leaders, Columbia University’s Marc Levy: “We’re the only country that has a significant amount of people that don’t believe in climate change.” It’s unfair to hold up year-to-year results as a simple comparison, Levy noted, because the methods for data collection vary, but for the last 20 years the U.S.’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and climate change have consistently lagged behind Europe’s.

To learn more about the work ahead, check out Planet Green.

Editor’s note: Article by Rachel Cernanksy. Originally published by our friends at Planet Green. Planet Green is an offshoot of Discovery that covers every aspect of green living, from tofu to tattoos. Be sure to visit them and say hi, and follow Planet Green on Twitter, too!

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