Japan ranks 21st on global environmental index

Japan ranks 21st among 149 countries, according to the 2008 Environmental Performance Index. Not too bad for the world's second largest economy, but Japan should at least rank among the top 10. Remember Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda just said that "we need to earnestly address the issue of the global environment in order to sustain our future livelihood on a global scale." Hear, hear.

Switzerland topped the list, followed by the Scandinavian countries -- Sweden, Norway and Finland. The study was released in Davos where the annual World Economic Forum meeting is under way.

Kyodo/AP notes that Japan was behind major Western countries such as France and Britain (14th) but ahead of the United States (39th):

To formulate the 2008 Environmental Performance Index, experts at the two U.S. universities evaluated 25 environmental measures -- including climate change, agricultural policies, sanitation, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution -- in the 149 countries.

Japan won high marks in air pollution and water quality but ranked low at 84th in the climate change category, including per-capita greenhouse gas emissions.

The environmental cost of soaring economic growth in Asian giants China and India were reflected in their lowly rankings. China placed 105th with Indian even further back in 120th position, according to AFP.


Pandabonium said…
Until environmental concerns take precedence over economic "growth" (ie corporations making profits) I don't think will see a significant change in that ranking. Economic activity is messy.
Anonymous said…
Looks like Japan slipped from 14th place in the 2006 report. If only people were more interested these kinds of rating than in the foibles of popular entertainment personalities...

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