logo: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy


Section Image

Recent Articles

In today’s installment of Map Monday, I wanted to focus on air pollution as mapped by Hsu et al and The Atlantic.
Air quality has gotten worse over the last decade, and for more people. The 2014 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), a biennial global ranking that compares countries on high-priority environmental issues, shows that over the last decade, the number of people breathing unsafe air has risen by 606 million and now totals 1.78 billion. That’s one quarter of the global population.
On June 2, the Obama administration unveiled its proposal for the nation’s first-ever regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. It’s a bold and potentially groundbreaking move that has environmentalists, public health advocates, and power plant operators mobilizing their supporters or mounting their defenses.

Professor Dan Esty appeared on the Colbert Report June 3, 2014, to discuss President Obama's Clean Power Plan. The plan includes new rules for existing coal-fired power plants that would cut emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.


A picture is worth a thousand words. Nowhere is this statement more pertinent than the environmental movement, which has relied on data presentations, iconic images, and visuals to provide definition and reality to some of the world's most significant and influential phenomena. The visualizations described below -- and presented in the infographic -- signify striking environmental data presentations and images that have left, and continue to leave, an indelible mark on our planet.
India's state air monitoring centre has admitted that pollution in Delhi is comparable to that of Beijing, but disputed a World Health Organisation (WHO) finding that the Indian capital had the dirtiest atmosphere in the world.
An international effort to quantify air pollution levels has found that New Delhi’s air is the most polluted in the world, followed by that of three other cities in India’s central Hindi belt.
Next week, the United Nations’ Open Working Group will convene in New York to continue negotiating a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These SDGs -- focused on  issues such as gender equality, health, education, poverty, climate change, and biodiversity  -- are intended to drive social, economic, and environmental development on an international scale. They will also serve as a continuation of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015.
This being Earth Day, I call your attention to the 2014 edition of the Environmental Performance Index, a massive inventory of global progress, stasis and backsliding on all things environmental. Issued biennially by researchers at Yale and Columbia universities, the EPI ranks 178 countries of the world in ways that may test some of your preconceptions.
A report released by the World Health Organization last week found that some 7 million people died from air pollution exposure in 2012. In other words, one in eight of all global deaths that year resulted from breathing bad air.
The signing of an agreement with the Chinese for construction of four 660MW power plants at Gadani has come at a time when Pakistan’s three major cities — Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta — have been declared by the World Health Organisation to be among the 10 most polluted cities in the year 2011.
Iranian Department of Environment Protection is developing a plan to incorporate environmental concepts in school curricula acros the country in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.
Businesses and the public can keep watch when governments fail to provide environmental data, say Angel Hsu and colleagues.
The alarming level of environmental pollution in Nepal is there for everyone to see and feel. The country ranks dismally in virtually all global indices of pollution—in terms of water resources, sanitation, or biodiversity and habitat conservation. But the most worrying is undoubtedly the dangerous air pollution levels that Nepal is now witnessing.
Air pollution kills around 7 million people every year, accounting for one in eight deaths worldwide, according to a report from the World Heath Organization (WHO) released March 25. Thankfully, the problem is getting more media attention.
Amidst headlines detailing off-the-charts air pollution in Beijing, it may come as a surprise that China’s latest environmental scorecard does boast bright spots. The 2014 Yale Environmental Performance Index (EPI) – a biennial global ranking of how well countries perform on a range of critical environmental issues – ranks China at 118 out of 178 countries. With respect to other emerging economies with rapid growth and development, China does not fare as well overall as Brazil (77th), Russia (73rd), or South Africa (72th), but is considerably ahead of India, which ranked 155th. However, China is a leader in addressing climate change and is taking corrective action to address weaknesses.
Only three of the 74 Chinese cities monitored by the central government managed to meet official minimum standards for air quality last year, the Ministry of Environmental Protection announced this week, underscoring the country’s severe pollution problems.
With smog five times worse than the levels which prompted Paris to ban cars, the capital of the supposedly pristine mountain nation of Nepal is choking. Hospital doctor Andrew Lodge reports.
Everyone agrees that distributed energy is changing the electric grid, but whether microgrids and distributed energy fundamentally reshape the energy system is still up for grabs.
Air quality around the world is plummeting, according to the latest version of an annual report, issued at the Davos Summit over the weekend. Produced by researchers at Yale and Columbia universities, the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks performance in key environmental areas on a per-country basis. It breaks down these issues into two broad policy areas: detection of human health from environmental harm and protection of ecosystems. It then ranks each nation based on their overall performance.



2007-2014 Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy | Contact Us |  Website by Asirastudio LLC