Iran EPI Ranking of the Descending Order

Iran EPI Ranking of the Descending Order Iran EPI Ranking of the Descending Order

Iran has fallen 22 spots in the latest Environmental Performance Index ranking, which was released on Saturday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The biennial report, which is compiled by Yale University, ranks how well countries perform on high-priority environmental issues in two broad policy areas: protection of human health from environmental harm, and protection of ecosystems.

This year, 180 countries were ranked.

Despite receiving a better overall score —66.32 now as compared to 51.00 two years ago —Iran has fallen 22 spots, from 83 in 2014 to 105 today. The scores are out of 100.

In the Middle East and North Africa region, Iran is ranked 13th.

Iran’s drop in the rankings has more to do with other countries’ better performance in environmental protection than Tehran’s underwhelming showing. In fact, as the country’s overall score suggests, Iran has improved in most of the eight areas scored by the report; just not by much compared to its peers.

Nearly all countries show improvement in EPI score over the last decade. Countries already at higher levels of performance, including North American and European nations, have not improved nearly as much as developing countries have improved over the last decade.

Iran’s EPI score has improved by 15.46% since 2006, when the first report was published, which pales in comparison to its peers, such as Jordan (30.09%), Qatar (30.05%), and Lebanon (35.22%), all of whom rank above Iran.

  The Good

Iran’s best performance over the past 10 years was in the area of ‘water resources’, which tracks the proportion of wastewater from households and industrial sources that is treated before it is released into the environment.

Ranked based on performance in this area, Iran jumped from 135 in 2006 to 92 in the latest rankings, suggesting that treatment of wastewater, which is essential to mitigating adverse health effects of sewage, has been taken seriously.

The country also improved its performance in ‘agriculture — which tracks nitrogen use efficiency to assess how well countries match fertilizer input to crops — jumping 24 spots to 68th over the last decade. However, Iran has yet to meet international standards in terms of nitrogen use efficiency in its agriculture sector.

In the area of ‘water and sanitation’, Iran improved slightly, which is why it has dropped 12 spots. Water and sanitation tracks the portion of a population with access to safe drinking water and sanitation infrastructure. The report does not specify what portion of Iran’s 80 million people has access to potable water.

  The Bad

Iran’s rankings in three areas took a beating due to poor performance: biodiversity and habitat, air quality, and climate and energy.

Over the past decade, Iran has also failed to enhance its wildlife protection schemes, which is why it slid 13 spots to 133.

Poaching of endangered species, shrinking of animals’ natural habitats due to unrestrained urbanization, and failure to enforce the law are only a handful of problems threatening biodiversity in Iran.

Nearly 35 million Iranians are affected by air pollution, and the worsening air quality in Iran’s major cities has been reflected in the EPI ranking, where Iran has dropped a whopping 57 spots since 2006 to 109th.

Iran, along with many other developing countries that have high carbon emissions, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Brazil, are labeled as “underachievers” by the report, because despite their increasing carbon emissions over the past 10 years, their economies have not only failed to develop, but have regressed.

On the other hand, high carbon emitters like France, Italy and the UK, have managed to reduce their emissions while developing their economies.

  Key Findings

The report found that the world is making progress addressing some environmental issues while others have worsened considerably.

Worsening air quality, which is now killing more people globally than unsafe water, must become a top priority for nations. More than 3.5 billion people — half of the world’s population — live in countries with unsafe air quality.

The number of people lacking access to clean water has been nearly cut in half from 960 million in 2000 to 550 million today, around 8% of the world’s population. About 2.4 billion people lack access to sanitation.

Economic development leads to improvement in some environmental areas, yet development is also associated with increased prevalence of environmental hazards. For instance, as countries become wealthier, their governments invest more in sanitation infrastructure, which improves water quality. However, as countries develop and become more industrialized, air quality drops, essentially negating the health effects of improved sanitation.