India at a poor 125th position in Environ Index

Davos: Reflecting the adverse fallout of economic expansion, India has been ranked at the 125th spot in terms of tackling pollution and natural resource management challenges, according to a survey of 132 nations.

India is placed below neighbouring China, which has garnered the 116th position, as per the 2012 Environmental Performance Index prepared by Yale and Columbia Universities in association with the World Economic Forum. "Of the emerging economies, China and India rank 116th and 125th respectively, reflecting the strain rapid economic growth imposes on the environment," it said.

Switzerland has topped the ranking in terms of addressing pollution control and natural resource management challenges. Others in the top five are Latvia, Norway, Luxembourg and Costa Rica.

The report noted that Switzerland`s top-notch performance on the overall EPI derives from its high scores on metrics related to both ecosystem vitality and environmental health, particularly its very strong performance in biodiversity and habitat protection and air pollution control.

The list is based on 22 indicators across 10 major policy categories, including air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity, and forest management. "Occupying the bottom five positions in the EPI ranking are South Africa, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iraq all countries grappling with deteriorating environmental circumstances in the context of significant economic development pressures and other challenges," it said.

Going by the report, the US is placed 49th, with strong results on some issues, such as water and air pollution management but weak performance on others, including greenhouse gas emissions and renewable electricity generation.

"This ranking puts the US significantly behind other industrialised nations, including France (6th), the United Kingdom (9th), Germany (11th), and Japan (23rd)," it added.