Pilot Research on China Provincial Environmental Performance Index

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2011

Conference

Title17th annual conference of the International Sustainable Development Research Society
PlaceUnited States
Period8 - 10 May 2011

Abstract

Yale University has been a world leader in developing national-scale environmental indices since 1998, working closely with Columbia University and the World Economic Forum. The most recent of these reports, the 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), provides national policymakers with a scientifically accurate and easily applicable tool for advancing data-driven environmental decision-making. The 2010 EPI ranks 163 countries by their proximity to targets for 25 performance indicators tracked across ten policy categories covering both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality. The 2010 EPI allows countries to benchmark their management against that of their neighbors and peers. The EPI, however, only addresses environmental issues at the national scale. Given China’s diverse geographical landscapes and fairly autonomous local governments, a sub-national index will be a more effective tool for that country’s development of focused yet flexible environmental policy.The Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning and City University of Hong Kong, in partnership with Yale University and Columbia University, have been developing an pilot environmental performance index that will assess management and performance in a broad range of environmental categories for Chinese provinces. The research has produced a comprehensive framework for a Pilot China Environmental Performance Index (China EPI), a composite index of current Chinese environmental results and protection. The research aims at ranking China’s provinces on categories such as air quality, water quality and quantity, waste and sanitation, environmental health, climate change, habitat and biodiversity, fisheries, agriculture and land management, forestry, environmental governance, and resource use efficiency. The research has also identified a number of inadequacies in existing environmental monitoring and statistics practice in China, such as environmental data compilation protocols and quality assurance, inter-departmental data sharing, and quantitative environmental policy goals. Based on the empirical findings about China’s current exercise and international good practice, the research offers some recommendations for operationalizing China EPI in the future. Such measures include directing attention toward extending measurement activities across a broader range of policy areas, adhering more closely to established norms of indicator construction, and engaging in assessments and deliberations that flesh out a basis for identifying policy targets. The findings of the research will not only lay a firm foundation for refining the EPI approach in China, but also shed light on how to install a similar exercise in other rapidly developing countries.

Citation Format(s)

Pilot Research on China Provincial Environmental Performance Index. / SHI, Han; Chan, Hon S.; LI, Wanxin.

2011. Paper presented at 17th annual conference of the International Sustainable Development Research Society, United States.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)