Taiwan was ranked 24th out of 133 countries in the 2006 Environmental Performance Index released by Yale University on Monday. Taiwan was slightly behind Australia which ranked 20th and slightly ahead of the USA which ranked 28th. New Zealand topped the list. China was 94th.
The index rates countries by “identifying specific targets for environmental performance and measuring how close each country comes to these established goals.” Full details of the report can be downloaded from www.yale.edu/epi/.
The Taipei Times carried an article on the index today. According to the article the areas in which Taiwan performed well ” were in reducing water consumption, a decline in the timber harvest rate and in meeting international goals for indoor air quality, clean drinking water and providing adequate sanitation for its people.” Areas in which Taiwan rated poorly were carbon dioxide emmissions, overfishing and renewable energy.
According to the Taipei Times, “Between 1992 and 2000, the report shows, carbon dioxide emissions in Taiwan soared by 45 percent, making it one of the world’s worst performers in this regard.” They also noted that, “Taiwan’s contribution to renewable energy sources, the report indicates, are close to non-existent.”
The report is quite a contrast to the Environmental Sustainability Index released a year ago where Taiwan ranked 145th out of 146 countries. (See my blog entry The Ugly Isle). Let’s hope Taiwan doesn’t take the results of this latest survey as a compliment. There is no room for complacency on environmental issues.