Georgia Drops 10 Spots to 111 for Environmental Performance

TBILISI - The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy recently published its Environmental Performance Index (EPI) that placed Georgia 111th on its list of 180 countries.

The ranking saw Georgia drop 10 places compared to its previous ranking in 2014.

The EPI index – first published in 2006 – quantifies and marks the environmental performance of a country by analyzing its policies towards nine major environmental issues.

According to the report, Georgia still lacks a coherent policy on a number of key environmental problems including freshwater quality, toxic chemical exposure, municipal solid waste management, wetland loss and recycling.

The EPI revealed that the Nordic nations of Finland, Iceland and Sweden are the world’s most eco-friendly countries.

Georgia’s South Caucasus neighbors Azerbaijan and Armenia placed 31st and 37th on the list, respectively.

Azerbaijan’s relatively high rating is somewhat controversial due to the heavily industrialized areas along the Caspian Sea, namely the ageing Soviet-era oil facilities near Sumgayit, where high rates of cancer and ground water poisoning are common.

Sumgayit is often listed as one of the 10 most polluted sites on Earth alongside Russia’s Dzhezhinsk chemical weapons plant and Norilsk’s mining and smelting facilities, as well as Ukraine’s abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Somalia, an East African country that has endured constant warfare since 1991, ranked last on the EPI index at 180.

By Nicholas Waller

Photo: Aptsiauri

12 May 2016 16:58