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AQ Feature

Charticle: Indexing the Environment

In 2006 Yale University, in collaboration with Columbia University, developed an Environmental Protection Index (EPI) that it applied in full in 2008. The goal: to create a comparative index of environmental policy to understand what governments are doing to protect their citizens’ health (environmental health) and the global environment (ecosystem vitality). The individual measures within those categories and their weights are displayed below. But here’s the problem: the EPI relies on the best environmental data available. In practice this means that 89 countries or territories aren’t included—24 of them in our hemisphere (see lower right in the charticle). Lack of credible data also prevented the inclusion of several key topics listed below. Let’s hope the EPI, together with public engagement, can help prod countries to provide this information.

View the Environmental Protection Index in the charticle from the Fall 2009 Americas Quarterly.

Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.
Tags: Carbon emissions, Environmental Performance Index, EPI Report, ecosystem vitality, environmental health, wetlands, recycling rates, environmental regulation enforcement, urban particulates, heavy metals exposure, nuclear safety, ecocystem