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Lessons from the Environmental Performance Index-2022

Published : Monday, 27 June, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 911
Rokibul Huda Majumder

Lessons from the Environmental Performance Index-2022

Lessons from the Environmental Performance Index-2022

The biennial report of the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) has recently been published.EPI-2022 is based on the comparison and analysis of environmental performance of 180 countries of the world. In this year's ranking, Denmark is at the top in terms of environmental performance. Their EPI score is 8.90. The country's EPI score has increased by 14.90 in the last one decade.

European Denmark is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, lying southwest of Sweden, south of Norway and north of Germany. It consists of a peninsula and 43 islands. In2020 the population was estimated to be in the region of 5.8 million people.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Denmark's air quality index showed the air quality to be "Good" in December 2020. Similarly,in the world ranking of dirtiest cities in 2019- Denmark was ranked as 84 out of a total of 98 countries. Similarly, according to the EPI Index 2022- Denmark achieve 12th position in the world ranking with 80.5 Score.

Denmark is the proud owner of some of the best drinking water countries in Europe and luckily hasn't faced many challenges accessing clean water over the last few decades. Water prices have been historically high in Denmark.

The high price of water deters unnecessary consumption,helps conserve water and led to a significant drop in water consumption over the last 20 years. In 1989, the water consumption rested at 170 liters per day on average, while in 2012 that number dropped to 114.

In the Environmental Performance Index 2022, Denmark also ranks first in water resources with a score of 100.0 and 13th in Sanitation & Drinking Water where Denmark's score is 97.5.

Denmark without Waste is the Government's presentation of a new approach to waste. Over recent decades, in Denmark it has been incinerating almost 80 % of household waste.Now, Denmark is going to change this. The Government has set a goal that in 2022 they will be recycling 50 % of their household waste.

It means, they have to double the recycling rate for household waste in Denmark.With a score of 7.3 Denmark ranks 13th in the Environmental Performance Index'22 on waste management.

On the other hand, Bangladesh ranks 177th out of 180 countries in the world in the Environmental Performance Index. Bangladesh's point in environmental performance is 23.10.

In the last one decade, Bangladesh's points have decreased by 1.90. In this case Pakistan got 24.60. Their points have increased by 1.40 in one decade. Neighbouring India, however, lost 0.70 points to a low of 18.90.

Bangladesh has lost 4.40 points in the last one decade in the vitality of the ecosystem. In this regard, Bangladesh's collection is 29.40 points and position is 159th.Bangladesh has lost 18.70 points in ecosystem services in the last one decade. In this case, the country's collection is 14.90 points, position 155th. After losing 10 points in a decade in Fisheries, Bangladesh's collection is 35.10, position is 20th.

In the last one decade, Bangladesh's points in health have increased by 2.60 to 18.10, the position is 166th. In terms of air quality, Bangladesh's points have increased by 0.20 in the last one decade. With 14.40 points, the position is 173rd in this case.

In terms of drinking pure water, Bangladesh has increased by 5.60 points in the last one decade. Bangladesh is in the 129th place in this list with 27.40 points.

In controlling the presence of heavy metals in the environment, in the last one decade, Bangladesh's points have increased by 9.40 to 22.80, standing at 172th position. In this case, Denmark is the first with a score of 100.0.

Bangladesh has also improved waste management. In the last one decade, the collection of Bangladesh has increased by one point 10.50, the position is 160th.Denmark ranks top with a score of 100.0 in this case.

There has been some deterioration in climate policy. In this regard, Bangladesh has lost 1.60 points in the last one decade. The position is now 171st with 18.80 points where Denmark is first with a score of 92.4.

Some of the steps behind Denmark's performing the best in the EPI can be followed for Bangladesh. Such as:-

Denmark is a world leader in air technology. Now they are making their capital Copenhagen the world's first carbon-neutral capital by building 100 more large wind turbines.

Denmark uses renewable energy to convert their wind and aquatic resources into energy.Although there are hydropower and wind power plants in Kaptai and Maheshkhali of Bangladesh, its scope can be extended.

In recent years, Denmark has become one of the largest producers of municipal waste in Europe. Denmark aims to recycle 80% of all waste by 2024.Bangladesh can take Dhaka city as a model city project where waste can be converted into biogas and fertilizer alternatives.

Denmark takes "Green tax reform" what Bangladesh can follow for the welfare of the environment. The polluters have to pay higher tax for their pollution and the environmental friendly activities will get incentives such as tax reduction or awards.

Denmark has taken up 'Green Research and Development' aimed at long-term growth and job creation. Bangladesh can also take such an initiative.The research will bring up minor issues related to this and determine the aspects to be done.

The main mode of transportation in Denmark is two-wheeler or bicycle. While this is not possible in Bangladesh, an environment-friendly motor vehicle policy must be adopted to reduce vehicle pollution and ensure sustainable road transport.

Bangladesh has already adopted the Delta Plan 2100. Apart from this, Bangladesh has separate laws and policies related to environment.However, we hope that Denmark's initiatives, which are at the forefront of the environmental index, will play a collaborative role in improving the quality of the environment in Bangladesh.
The writer is a postgraduate student,Environmental and Resource Economics Programme, Dhaka School of Economics, University of Dhaka.

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