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Oman jumps 99 places in Environmental Performance Index

3 Jun 2024 By M NAJMUZ ZAFAR

Muscat – Oman has leapfrogged 99 places to rank 50th in the 2024 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), a major recognition for the sultanate’s environment protection efforts. It was ranked 149th in the 2022 index. 

The sultanate is ranked second in the GCC and the Middle East in the index published by Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network. 

Released on Monday, the index ranks 180 countries based on 58 performance indicators to track progress on mitigating climate change, promoting environmental health, and safeguarding ecosystem vitality. 

Compiled data evaluates efforts by the nations to reach UN sustainability goals, the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, as well as the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

Oman’s EPI score is 51.9, performing exceptionally well – ranked first – in indicators like Marine protection stringency, Bottom trawling in economic zones, Bottom trawling in global ocean, Adjusted emissions growth rate for sulphur dioxide, Relative crop yield, and Adjusted emissions growth rate for black carbon. 

The country is among top five, ranked fourth, in both the Wastewater collected and treated indicators.

In the GCC, UAE leads ranked 49th, followed by Oman, Qatar (69th), Kuwait (80th), Saudi Arabia (89th) and Bahrain (120th). 

Estonia leads this year’s rankings with a 40% drop in greenhouse gas emissions over the last decade, largely attributed to replacing dirty oil shale power plants with cleaner energy sources. It is followed by Luxembourg, Germany, Finland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Switzerland and Denmark making the top ten. 

Vietnam and other developing countries in Southeast and Southern Asia, such as Pakistan, Laos, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh are ranked the lowest, indicating the urgency of international cooperation to help provide a path for struggling nations to achieve sustainability.

The 2024 EPI also found that many countries that were leading in sustainability goals have fallen behind or stalled, illustrating the challenges of reducing emissions in hard-to-decarbonise industries and resistant sectors such as agriculture. In several countries, recent drops in agricultural greenhouse emissions have been the result of external circumstances, not policy.

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