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New Zealand tops environmental scorecard at World Economic Forum in Davos

New Haven, Conn. -- New Zealand ranks first in the world in environmental performance, according to the Pilot 2006 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) produced by a team of environmental experts at the environment school at Yale University and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

The 2006 EPI, to be released Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum on January 26, ranks Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom two to five respectively. The top-ranked countries all commit significant resources and effort to environmental protection, resulting in strong performance across most of the policy categories.

The EPI identifies targets for environmental performance and measures how close each country comes to these goals. It ranks 133 countries on 16 indicators tracked in six established policy categories: Environmental Health, Air Quality, Water Resources, Biodiversity and Habitat, Productive Natural Resources, and Sustainable Energy. As a quantitative gauge of pollution control and natural resource management results, the Index provides a powerful tool for improving policymaking and shifting environmental decision-making onto firmer analytic foundations.

The Index provides "peer group" rankings for each country showing how its performance stacks up against others facing similar environmental challenges. These benchmarks allow easy tracking of leaders and laggards on an issue-by-issue and aggregate basis. The data also supports effort to identify "best practices" in the environmental realm.

The United States placed 28th in the rankings significantly below other highly-developed nations like the United Kingdom (5) and Canada (8). This score reflects top-tier performance on environmental health issues, but also indicates that the United States is under-performing on critical issues of renewable energy, greenhouse gas
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Contact: Melissa Goodall
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-3123
Yale University
23-Jan-2006


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