2006-01-28

Environmental policy more important than wealth for the environmental status?

I just saw a notice about a Yale study using an environmental score card to compare the "environmental performance" of 133 countries. 7 EU countries are in the top ten list. They used 16 indicators in the categories: Environmental Health, Air Quality, Water Resources, Biodiversity and Habitat, Productive Natural Resources, and Sustainable Energy.

There seem to be no correlation between Productive Natural Resources and GDP/capita. Absolutely no correlation between Global Competitiveness and Ecosystem vitality.

The correlation between Environmental Health and GDP/capita was 0.8, not very impressive since the maximum variation of GDP/capita is a factor of 10 for the same value of environmental health.

The notice
The study - PDF ca 644kb.

The top ten:

New Zealand
Sweden
Finland
Czech Republic
UK
Austria
Denmark
Canada
Malaysia
Ireland

Considering the bad environmental image that the US normally has it might be a bit of surprise to see them as high as on place 28 of 133. I guess they got that far up by having huge uninhabitated areas.

In the press release it states that: "The United States placed 28th in the rankings– significantly below other highly-developed nations like the United Kingdom (5) and Canada (8). This score reflects top-tier performance on environmental health issues, but also indicates that the United States is under-performing on critical issues such as renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions, and water resources."

10 Comments:

At January 29, 2006, Blogger AEnima said...

did you notice that portugal was the 11th?? I was really proud of our little bit of land... but you could do better...

 
At January 29, 2006, Blogger AEnima said...

you means we... we as a nation could do better

 
At January 29, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

yes i noticed that portugal is on 11 place. congrats :-) i guess socrates now have something to be a bit more pleased about than the outcome of the presidential elections.

most of the energy in portugal is from fossil fuel. you have water energy but that is a bit unreliable from year to year. wind power is increasing but is still only a tiny fraction. energy efficiency everywhere, at home, in the office, in transportation, in the factories. is probably the fastest way to increased indepedence of fossil fuel.

as far as i know nowhere in portugal is renewable combustibles used. quite many buses run on natural gas, but is a fossil fuel. braval/tub in braga is planning to start a project to convert leftover oils from deep frying potatoes into biodiesel. i dunno if there is enough such leftovers to be worthwhile.

in 2004 i read news that portugal (or was it the respective camara municipal?) was about to be sued by the EU commission for the lousy air quality in lisbon and porto.

there was complaints just the other day about socrates raising the petrol tax in order to pay for the motor ways. he said no but anyway it is good policy to raise the petrol taxes. i am quite certain that the transportation industry in portugal can a improve a lot. in fact they should anyway, less mileage per customer or parcel etc gives more profit per customer etc.

 
At January 30, 2006, Blogger AEnima said...

That´s funny you mentioning that because in porto, at least in the area that I live in, all the public ground transports run on hidrogen... yesss water... all the bii buses now only emit water vaporized as a byproduct of runing on hidrogen. I was really happy when I noticed the change in the public transportation and by friends told me that has been changing for a while... I was just in the US too long to notice the everyday differences and that has spread to all stcp buses that serve the great metropolitan areaof porto (all the cities around too). Not all buses are changed yet, but they are getting there. She also told me something about the street cars in lisbon (environment related) but I forgot. She´s an economist and works in environmental causes. She hates blogs but I´ll try to make her read yours next time I see her. She used to be Nocas student to - it´s Rita and I guess you´ve met before too.

 
At January 30, 2006, Blogger Luigi Mario said...

Great, 11th place, and we also have huge plans for Solar Power Stations in Alentejo and Wave Powered Stations up north :P
I use evry thay the Metro system at Porto, they are quick, confortable and does not make any emissions...at least locally :P
By the way...its snowwing every where :| but not in Porto :\ dam it

 
At January 30, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

hydrogen powered buses in Oporto, cool, but nothing is mentioned about that on the website of the bus company ...

in braga the buses are ecobuses which means natural gas...

but the problem is more the lack of good coverage of public transportation, at least in braga. the train from braga to porto is cheap ca 2€ but takes 1 hour and 20 minutes. there is a alfa pendular that is supposed to take 50 minutes but cost 14€ ...

"aeolic" power is that wind or wave? at least in galicia they have a lot of wind power along the ridges on their mountains.

 
At January 30, 2006, Blogger Luigi Mario said...

You can find here info about the other kind of transportations tha use for example hidrogen.
CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe)

http://www.stcp.pt/pt/stcp/investiga.htm

and here

http://www.fuel-cell-bus-club.com/

 
At January 30, 2006, Blogger Luigi Mario said...

by the way..Energia Eólica (Wind Power) is wind...from the greek Éolo...that was the god of winds ;) ...the fresh ones not the smelly ones :P
And Energia maremotriz (kinetic energy from the seas) .

;)

 
At January 30, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

i guess those hydrogen powered bus are using fuel cells.

 
At January 30, 2006, Blogger Johan said...

sorry luigi i didnt see you comments before i posted my latest one ...

how do they get the hydrogen?
is it from fossil fuel, or?
i guess you can also use methane as a source that is converted into hydrogen. i think that is what they are doing for the ENV bike.

 

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