Rwanda has ranked 137th out of 180 countries globally in the 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), according to researchers at Yale and Columbia universities.Researchers at the prestigious universities say the country faces a number of serious environmental health risks, including poor air quality.
In total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per capita, the East African country performed extremely well, scoring 100 out of 100 for the work done in reducing GHG per person.
The indicator measures total national emissions of the so called ‘Kyoto basket’ of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and the so-called F-gases (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, nitrogen triflouride (NF3) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)).
The Environmental Performance Index 2020, which came out in June, ranks countries in 11 different categories on a scale of 100.
These categories include air pollution, sanitation, biodiversity, climate and energy, fisheries, agriculture, and wastewater treatment to name a few.
The index is put out by the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy in the United States.
Top on the global scale is Denmark followed by Luxembourg, and Switzerland.
Other European countries round out the top 10.
Japan is 12th and the United States is 24th.
At the bottom of the list is a West African country – Liberia.
When explaining the performance, the EPI team said that a number of striking conclusions emerge from the 2020 EPI rankings and that primarily good policy results are associated with wealth (GDP per capita).
This means that economic prosperity makes it possible for nations to invest in policies and programmes that lead to desirable outcomes.