World Environment Day: the best and worst performing countries listed and mapped

By Ron Mader via Flickr, Creative Commons

This post was first published on 5th June but some technical issues forced me to republish it today. 

Today, 5th of June, is the World Environment Day, a recurrence established by the United Nations to encourage awareness and action for the environment.

This year’s theme of the event is “Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care” and it is not a coincidence that the country hosting the 2015 event also hosts the World Exposition 2015, this year focused on a similar theme.

So, let’s take a look on how Italy and the other UN members perform in environmental matters.
The Environmental Performance Index is a measure developed by Yale University and Colombia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the European Commission.

The index is a composite of two umbrella-groups of variables, Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality, under which are evaluated water quality, pollution, CO2 emissions, use of non-hazardous pesticides in agriculture, and other factors.

The map below shows the 10 year-period change of each country performance values and how they rank globally.


Surprisingly, some of the lowest ranking countries have managed anyway to improve their performances over the decade. Kuwait and least developed countries Niger, Timor-Leste, Djibouti, Sierra Leone have experienced an over 20 points improvement, while Arab country Bahrain‘s performance was 4 points lower than 10 years ago, likewise Qatar‘s (-1.3) and United Arab Emirates’s (-0.95).

Northern and Central European countries were among the highest ranking, with Switzerland (87 points) and Luxembourg (83) topping the league, followed by Australia (82) and Singapore (81).
Access to water is the field where these countries have scored the highest points, whereas for people living in the lowest ranking countries Somalia (15), Mali (18) and Haiti (19) seems more difficult to have the service at all.

For the performances of all countries see the table below.

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