EPI stands for Environmental Performance Index and it is a way to measure how much "we disturb the environment around us and consequently also a little ourselves. Based on theEPI the rankings of the various countries are also drawn up, complete with top ten, who goes down and who goes up.
Italy recently finished 29th. Not very honorable result, especially considering that it is downhill. So let's try to better understand what it means to have EPI pain and how to heal.
EPI (Environmental Performance Index): what it is
L'EPI is, translated, the environmental sustainability index and classifies countries in terms of environmental impact. It is a parameter, a number, which has been developed since Pilot Environmental Performance Index, a document drawn up to complement the United Nations environmental objectives and which first appeared in 2002.
To calculate your own EPI 20 indicators are taken into consideration which concern two macro areas: human health is ecosystem protection. By calculating the various indicators, even before arriving at the final index ofEPI, we already have a valuable tool to improve the country's performance. In fact, sector by sector, the indicators enable us to understand how much and in what area we are committed enough and where we can do more for environment protection.
To calculate theEPI are the researchers of Columbia University and Yale University, from overseas, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Center of the European Commission. Next to the 20 indicators there are other factors that affect theEPI in judging the actions and the situation in which each country finds itself. For example, you will be with me, and with them, in agreement, that we cannot neglect theair pollution, the quality of water and its sources, the state of agriculture, the forest protection, the sustainability of fisheries.
EPI: in 2016 Italy was 29th
As for EPI, not to be confused with GDP and other indices and evaluations, equally important, Italy is not doing very well. On the contrary, it gets worse: it reached the top 30 countries by a hair's breadth, holding on to 29th place. So decreed the researchers from Yale University and Columbia University, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Center of the European Commission.
The "participants" in the competition of EPI I'm 180. Seen taking a step back 29/180 it might not be a result for which to put your hands in your hair, certainly not to be idle, Above all, it is worrying that we went down: in 2014 we were in 22nd place in 2012 it was even in eighth place.
To better understand this positioning in terms of EPI let's see how our neighbors are doing and who the champions of EPI. On the podium we find Finland, Iceland and Sweden, a victory of Northern Europe that tears up the rest of the world and have not been in these three splendid positions for long, they stole them respectively from Switzerland, Luxembourg and Australia.
Getting off of EPI we still find Northern Europe with Denmark but then the ranking opens to other areas. Reason why Italy certainly cannot take it as an excuse for its own low EPI, not to be in a "favorable" area. Also because, having passed Slovenia in fifth place, our neighbor is in sixth place and in some respects similar to us Spain and, immediately after, Portugal.
EPI: the relationship with GDP
Not to be confused with GDP, theEPI, as I said, but to be related yes. And how. Even if you do not arrive at a link that can be easily summarized and of univocal interpretation. In short, there is no rule, but in compare EPI and GDP in some areas we understand better behaviors and tendencies inherent in us human beings and in the societies we have set up.
It reads on the document of EPI 2016 as it emerges from the ranking that the countries in Europe tend to show today a higher EPI in relation to a high GDP, especially when compared to others that in different areas are much more in the top rankings, such as the sub-Saharan countries and especially the Somalia, with a EPI definitely poor.
This correlation quite trivially suggests how countries that can afford it invest some resources for improve living conditions and well-being. Trivially, I wrote, but looking at Europe, because it is tall EPI "Since GDP is high" is not a rule that applies to China and India. Not at all: high GDP e EPI very very low, as if the first almost "weighed" on the second. Paying attention to the environment, and having a good place in the EPI ranking, is not just an economic issue: there is more.
Armenia has understood this and demonstrates it, which has a relatively low wealth index but a high EPI, especially when compared with other countries that have per capita wealth similar to its own but much poorer environmental performance.
More interesting is to go and investigate by sectors, as the high GDP manages to go a positive boost in terms of EPI. In fact, it appears that when you have the resources, you tend to invest, or at least to make the sectors that touch the people's quality of life and their health. The more the environment interacts with man, making him sick or not, making him earn or not, the more one becomes an environmentalist.
In fact, the area of EPI which concerns the vitality of the ecosystem, less evidently linked to human life - a less banal link, although very deep, in truth, perhaps too long-term for people short-sighted. As famous examples, here are countries that are very rich but that of the vitality ofecosystem they seem to care enough: so their reports EPI. They are Kuwait Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia. As for the cleaning of water and its sources, ed renewable energies, these are investments that, once a certain state of comfort is reached, arrive.
EPI: how to move up the rankings
Aware of the our 29th place, "Beaten the backside" with this fall of 7 places in two years, let's ask ourselves how to get back up and ask the first classified: the Finns. There is nothing wrong with copying those who are better than us, just do it in an honest and sincere, and intelligent way. I say smart because it is obvious that we in Italy cannot copy and paste initiatives that have led Finland to be there EPI champion. We are not Finland and we do not live in the North of Europe. Let us be inspired by his resourcefulness.
Finland was the first on our continent to have low-rate aircraft d'environmental pollution. EPI certainly appreciated this move to which the national airline Finnair contributed thanks to a system of eco-sustainable management of plants, was able to achieve the performance required by environmental standards.
Still in the field of transport, but back down to earth, Finland has the supremacy on the motorway: for the first time this time the world has built a "green" highway. From Turku, on the west coast, to Vaalima, on the border with Russia: 130 km with stations for recharging electric cars and biofuels produced with local resources. Not only that, too "Smart lights" who decide how much lighting is worthwhile depending on the weather and traffic conditions. A winning move for'EPI, for the consumption of electricity and also for light pollution which Italy, especially northern Italy, knows something about.
If you liked this article keep following me also on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and ... elsewhere you have to find me!
Other related articles that may interest you
- Biomethane from biogas
- Paris climate agreement
Books that may interest you
- Two degrees: winning the climate challenge
- Green future: a vocabulary to talk about it