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Saturday, January 28, 2006

U.S.: we're number 28!

The results of a comprehensive study are in and the US simply isn't very green. From the 2006 Environmental Performance Index, which was produced jointly by Yale University and Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information network (CIESEN):
A pilot, nation-by-nation study of environmental performance shows just six nations - led by New Zealand and followed by five from northern Europe - have achieved 85 percent success in meeting environmental goals ranging from clean drinking water and low ozone levels to sustainable fisheries and low greenhouse-gas emissions.

The report, which has been peer reviewed, ranks the United States 28th over all, behind most of Western Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Costa Rica and Chile
That text comes from Felicity Barringer's story about the study, which originally appeared in the New York Times.

The report was released at Davos for the World Economic Forum. I don't know whether Billmon will be live-blogging the event again this year. Unfortunately, he's been relatively quiet for weeks now.

In any case, the study looked at 133 nations and is based on 16 different environmental measures. To me, that sounds fairly comprehensive. African, as well as Central and South Asian states score the worst. Pakistan and India were both ranked among the 20 bottom-scoring countries.

Update: An interesting and thoughtful first-hand analysis in regard to Taiwan's relatively high finish can be found here. A bit more technical info (from environmental economist John Whitehead) is available here.

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