The 2016 Environmental Performance Index provides a global view of environmental performance and country by country metrics to inform decision-making. Launched at the World Economic Forum, the EPI is in its 15th year and more relevant than ever to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and carrying out the recent international climate change agreement.
The world is making progress addressing some environmental issues while others have worsened considerably. A “global scorecard’ illustrates this progress and deterioration, showing promising trends in Health Impacts, Access to Drinking Water, and Access to Sanitation. Air Quality (NO2) and Fisheries, however, exhibit troubling declines. Comparing relative performance across issues, the world performs poorly on Wastewater Treatment and Air Quality (PM2.5) as well as in Carbon Intensity Trend indicators.
Trends suggest improvement in many areas, yet progress remains slow, and some trends are overshadowed by other, more troubling findings. The world’s nations protect more marine habitat than ever, for instance, yet fish stocks are declining. Performance among areas is linked and trends sometimes conflict, exhibiting the complexity of global environmental measurement.