Environmental Performance Index Shows Where Work Can Still Be Done to Reduce Emissions
A new 2020 report published by Yale and Columbia Universities shows index results of 180 countries' environmental performance by grading efforts in sustainability, active policy, and overall environmental performance. The outcome is an Environmental Performance Index (EPI) that rates information from 32 indicators across 11 primary categories concerning environmental sustainability and ranks the countries based on a diffused index value. The results tell an interesting tale about areas where there is increased opportunity for huge gains in the battle against global emissions. The majority of the top-performing countries are those considered to be part of the 'Global West' group that consists of advanced western nations, but this also puts a huge magnifying glass on the performance of the United States. Of the entire list of countries, the US ranks 24th of 180, which is not a terrible position overall, but compared to the rest of the global west group, they rank 21st out of 22. Considering the strong correlation between wealth and GDP per capita, and that the US is the leading contributor to global emission behind China, it is clear that we have a long way to go in our environmental efforts.
A huge way that consumers and companies can bridge the gap in emissions is through continued progress and development in the electric vehicle market. Studies have suggested that each new EV on the road could add almost $10,000 in social benefits by cleaning the air we breathe each day. Eliminating the range of contaminants originating from tailpipes in fuel cars results in cleaner air and alleviates the risk of a lot of common heart and lung diseases. Clean air is something that many consumers should and will be prioritizing, considering the new implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governor of Florida recently signed landmark legislation that will develop electric vehicle charging station infrastructure along the entire State Highway System to support growth and development in the electric vehicle market throughout the state. The development of this legislation is a huge win for EV consumers in the Florida market. It should be considered an example of positive governmental influence to incentivize consumers to enter the market. Moving forward, there is a need for more states to step-up, making the necessary strides to improve the United States' sustainability performance and, hopefully, EPI ranking in the process. Prioritizing environmental efforts through the use of electric vehicles is a much-needed jump-start to a greener and more efficient path of making strides for the future of long-term sustainability.