Does the US have the highest environmental standards in the world?

Monday, February 1, 2021
By Lisa Freedland

According to Yale’s 2020 Environmental Performance Index, the U.S. does not have the world’s highest environmental standards, nor does it fall in the top 20.

The index evaluates countries’ environmental performance across 32 measures, including air and water quality, waste management, biodiversity and climate change footprint. Overall, the U.S. ranked 24th out of 180 countries.

While not at the top, the U.S. ranked within the top 10 countries on the Environmental Democracy Index, last published in 2015, which measured the degree to which citizens may participate in environmental decision-making. Lithuania topped the list, with its Environmental Protection Law allowing citizens to fight decisions that they deem are “violating environmental rights.”

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