2020 Environmental Performance Index

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks 180 countries on 32 performance indicators across 11 issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality. The 2020 EPI features new metrics that gauge waste management, carbon dioxide emissions from land cover change, and black carbon emissions – all important drivers of climate change.

This year, Denmark ranks #1 in the EPI. Dan Jørgensen, Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, said:

“It is both an honor and a great motivation to reach the top of the EPI ranking. This is a great foundation to build on, and with the Danish commitment to reduce emissions by 70% by 2030, there is plenty of work to do. We have just initiated negotiations in the Danish parliament to reach an agreement on the next step of the journey towards 2030, and we hope that the measures we take can be a source of inspiration in other parts of the world.”

Below is a selection of news coverage of this year’s EPI release. For more information and to view complete coverage, go to the EPI website at epi.yale.edu.

EPI Global News Coverage

Rantt Media | Trump’s Re-Election Would Be An Existential Threat To Our Climate | July 14, 2020
The 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) provides an insight into just how poorly the USA ranks when it comes to environmental issues. Read more.

Forbes ‘System Change Not Climate Change’: Capitalism And Environmental Destruction | July 13, 2020
…Of course, nobody would deny that industrialization causes environmental problems. But the assertion that growth automatically leads to ever accelerating environmental degradation is simply false. […] One of the Index’s most striking findings is that there is a strong correlation between a state’s wealth and its environmental performance. Most developed capitalist countries achieve high environmental standards. Read more here.

World Economic Forum | This is the state of sustainability around the world | June 12, 2020

The Environmental Performance Index assesses 180 countries on their environmental health and vitality of their ecosystems. In the 2020 EPI, European countries dominate the top 10. The Index aims to identify where more work is needed and guide policy-makers. Read more here.

Forbes | 10 Most Green, Clean Air Countries All In Europe: US, Trump Lags | June 5, 2020
The world’s ten most green, clean air, climate-conscious countries are all in Europe, while the U.S. under the Trump administration lags on environment protection and pollution control. That according to researchers at Yale and Columbia universities who every two years rank the world’s nations on eco-friendliness. Read more here.

Forbes | Summer Travel Europe: The World’s Top 10 Clean Green Nature Destinations Call | June 5, 2020
The list is based on findings from researchers at Yale and Columbia University. They conduct a probe into the most environmentally friendly countries in the world (and the dirtiest). In 2020, all the top 10 environment stars are in Europe. Read more here.

The GuardianUS ranks 24th in the world on environmental performance | June 4, 2020
Analysis by Yale and Columbia universities shows US lagging far behind other industrialized countries in a range of categories. Read more here.

EcoWatch | U.S. Ranks 24th in New Environmental Performance Index, Near Bottom of Developed Countries | June 4, 2020
President Trump’s claim that the U.S. has the cleanest air and water in the world has been widely refuted by statistics showing harmful levels of pollution. Now, a new biannual ranking released by researchers at Yale and Columbia finds that the U.S. is nowhere near the top in environmental performance. Read more here.

UPIU.S. ranks 24th in newly released 2020 Environmental Performance Index | June 4, 2020
The United States isn’t doing a very good job of protecting the environment, according to researchers at Yale and Columbia universities. The U.S. ranks 24th in the 2020 Environmental Performance Index. Read more here.

Yale | What Does Sustainability Look Like? New Global Scorecard Will Offer a Glimpse | June 1, 2020
On June 4, the 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) will issue its 12th biennial ranking of 180 countries on how they are performing in terms of environmental health and ecosystem vitality. In an interview, Dan Esty discusses how over the past two decades the EPI has offered a roadmap for sustainability policy. Read more here.

Country-Focused News Coverage

Bangladesh: Bangladesh moves 17 notches up on Environmental Performance Index
The Business Standard, June 6, 2020 | Read here

Greece: Greece Ranks 25th in Environmental Performance Index
The National Herald, June 5, 2020  | Read here

India: Better Water Management Systems, Focus On Domestic Species Of Flora, Fauna
Business World, June 6, 2020 | Read here

Israel: Israel slips to 29th worldwide in biennial environmental performance index
The Times of Israel, June 8, 2020 | Read here

Kenya: Ways to lift Kenya from global environmental ranking bottom list
Business Daily Africa, June 23, 2020 | Read here

Luxembourg: Luxembourg comes in second after Denmark
RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg, June 22, 2020 | Read here

Maldives: Maldives makes poor showing on Environmental Performance Index, ranks 127 of 180
The Edition, July 5, 2020 | Read here

New Zealand: Stop nudging the primary sector
New Zealand Herald, July 7, 2020 | Read here

Philippines: Decarbonization drives countries to the top, PH drops to 111th spot
The Manila Times, June 20, 2020 | Read here


  • Environmental Performance Index: Seychelles ranks 38th, best in Sub-Saharan Africa, CGTN AFrica, July 6, 2020 | Read here
  • Seychelles ranked top in Africa on Yale’s Environmental Performance Index, Seycelles News Agency, July 9, 2020 | Read here

Spain: Spain ranks 14th on list of greenest countries worldwide, while the UK is fourth
The Olive Press, June 15, 2020 | Read here

Tunisia: Tunisia ranks 2nd in Africa according to 2020 Environmental Performance Index
African Manager, July 17, 2020 | Read here

United Arab Emirates: Action needed to prevent oil spills off UAE coast, says government official
The National, July 10, 2020 | Read here

Vietnam: Vietnam has poor environmental scorecard
VnExpress, June 9, 2020 | Read here