Environmental Performance: Mexico Under a New Light
According to the Environmental Performace Index, issued by collaboration of the Yale University and Columbia University with collaboration of the World Economic Forum and the Joint Centre Research of the European Union, Mexico ranks 43 out of 163 countries.
The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) loosk at performance indicators tracked across ten policy categories, covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. These indicators provide a gauge at anational government scale of how close countries are to established environmental policy goals.
Mexico ranks 43 and has a 67.3 score, which represents the average between its 76.5 score in Environmental Public Health and 58.1 in Ecosystem Vitality. This score is also the percentage as a proximity to the country’s target.
But what does this number mean? We will see how numbers are more than numbers if one takes the time to really look within them.
If one looks across the Americas, it locates Mexico right above Canada, the United States, Paraguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, and many others. The median score for the region is 66.8.
Moreover, by looking at how other regions are doing, Europe has a median of 71, where its first quartile scores 65.7. Asia and Pacific has a median of 59.6. and the European Union countries have a median of 59.1.
So Mexico scores better than the median of the Americas, The European Union and the Asia and Pacific countries.
Also, if we look across countries according to its income, Mexico stands with its 67.3 score in the fourth decile group where the median is 65.4. Countries in the third decile have a 62.5 median.
As we said, the EPI Index is comprised by two indicators; Ecosystem Vitality and Environmental Public Health. If we analyse further we can see on the one hand, that within the issues that comprehend the Ecosystem Vitality, on Climate change, which comprises 25% of the score Mexico has 56.4 where its income group median is 51.4. The other 25% of the score is comprised by six indicators where Mexico scores above the median of its income group in five out of these six; agriculture, fisheries, forestry, water and air pollution. Being biodiversity and habitat a bigger challenge still.
On the other hand, within the indicators that comprise Environmental Health score, a quarter of the score is determined by Environmental Burden of Disease where Mexico scores 73.8 above the median of its income group with 62.1. On Water management Mexico scores below by 85.8 to 86.4; but its the average of the 91.4 it has on access to improved drinking water and the 78.2 that still scores in sanitation. On Air Pollution, Mexico scores 75.5, below the income group’s median of 77.5.
Ranking 43 out of 163 can be seen from different points of view. Does an economy and population like that of Mexico’s requires the same management as those of Iceland, Switzerland and Costa Rica whose ranks are 1st, 2nd and 3rd? Clearly not. Comparatively, it also scores better than more populated and richer countries like the U.S., or only richer ones like Canada.
Mexico is doing its job better than many countries like Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, the U.S., Brazil, Turkey. All of them OECD countries, and of course, better than many others. Apparently, the variable is not income, nor size, not population. Mexico stands in its own feet and merit.
This is the result of the leadership and focused work that Mexico has udertaken to protect the environment since few years ago. It is necessary to acknowledge what has worked and made a difference so that it can be a lesson to learn and achieve the next level.