The State of India’s Environment Report 2021 on June 6, 2021, released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) revealed that India’s rank slipped two places from last year to rank 117th on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted as a part of the 2030 agenda by 193 United Nations Member States in 2015.
Last year, India ranked 115th and slipped by two places this year owing to major SDGs that remain unfulfilled in the country such as SDG 2: Ending hunger and achieving food security, SDG 5: Achieving gender equality, and SDG 9: Building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation.
The report further stated that India’s overall SDG score is 61.9 out of 100, and it ranks below four South Asian countries, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
The report also mentioned that Bihar and Jharkhand are the least prepared states in the country to be able to meet the SDGs by 2030, the target year. Bihar lags in seven of the SDGs while Jharkhand lags in five.
Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, and Kerala are the states/UTs with the best overall score which are on track to achieving the SDGs.
Environmental Performance Index (EPI): India
As per the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2020 report by Yale University, India ranked 168 out of 180 countries. The EPI is calculated on indicators such as biodiversity, sanitation and drinking water, air pollution, climate, environmental health, ecosystem services, etc.
India ranked 172 in the environmental health category of the EPI, which indicates how well the country is guarding its population against environmental health risks. India’s rank was 148 while Pakistan’s rank was 127 in the biodiversity and habitat category, the indicator to assess actions taken by countries towards protecting biodiversity and retaining natural ecosystems.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The United Nations Member States in 2015 adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that provides a blueprint for prosperity and peace for plants and people, in the present and the future.
The 2030 Agenda comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. The 17 SDGs are:
SDG 1: No Poverty
SDG 2: Zero Hunger
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 14: Life Below Water
SDG 15: Life on Land
SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals