Nepal’s air quality is worst in the world: Environmental Performance Index Report

Air quality in Nepal is the worst in the world, with the country being ranked at the bottom among the 180 countries surveyed in terms of air-quality in a global study.

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The latest global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) was released on Tuesday by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. The EPI report ranks the countries on 24 indicators across 10 categories, covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality. Environmental health also includes two other components of water and sanitation and exposure to heavy metals.

Nepal was ranked the last for air-quality among 180 countries, according to the EPI report which highlighted air pollution as a leading threat to public health.

The report had measured Household solid fuels, PM2.5 exposures and PM2.5 exceedance for measuring air quality of countries included in the study.

With the score of 3.94, Nepal’s air quality (180th) has been reported worse than other countries in the region like Pakistan (176th), China (177th), India (178th) and Bangladesh (179th). Australia secured the highest ranking for clean air while the United States ranked 10th.

Nearly all countries at the lower end of the global rankings for poor air quality are from Africa or Asia, said the report. The report also showed Nepal’s overall performance as “poor” in terms of environmental performance index, leaving it at the bottom of the pile.

The overall EPI rankings indicate countries’ best performances against the array of environmental pressures that every nation faces, said the report.

Nepal has managed a meagre 31.44 score for the 176th place, only ahead of India, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh and Burundi. Nepal stood in the 24th place on the EPI standings among Asian countries.

“Low scores on the EPI are indicative of the need for national sustainability efforts on a number of fronts, especially cleaning up air quality, protecting biodiversity, and reducing GHG emissions. Some of the lowest-ranking nations face broader challenges, such as civil unrest, but the low scores for others can be attributed to weak governance, they note,” the report said.

At the top of the green rankings is Switzerland with an impressive score of 87.42, followed by France, Denmark, Malta, and Sweden. Switzerland stands out in the categories of climate and energy, and air pollution. Denmark, Malta and Sweden stand out for high scores in air quality within environmental health. Malta scores the highest in water and sanitation.

“These metrics provide a gauge at a national scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy goals. The EPI thus offers a scorecard that highlights leaders and laggards in environmental performance, gives insight on best practices, and provides guidance for countries that aspire to be leaders in sustainability,” it said.

Best Five Countries
  1. Switzerland 87.42
  2. France 83.95
  3. Denmark 81.60
  4. Malta 80.90
  5. Sweden 80.51
Worst Five Countries
  1. 176. Nepal 31.44
  2. 177. India 30.57
  3. 178. DR Congo 30.41
  4. 178. Bangladesh 29.56
  5. 180. Burundi 27.43

>> Originally posted on the Kathmandu Post.


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