2 February 2018

Seychelles Places 1st in Global Environment Rankings in 'Climate and Energy' Category

An environmental performance index has ranked Seychelles first out of 180 countries in the climate and energy category, lauding its use of renewable energy and focus on the need for clean living.

The Environmental Performance Index 2018 ranks countries in 24 different categories, including air pollution, sanitation, climate and energy, fisheries, agriculture.

In the climate and energy category, the island nation has made an "impressive leap in the global rankings from its 179th baseline position to first place," said the report.

The Principal Secretary for Climate Change and Energy, Wills Agricole, told SNA that the ranking is due to the efforts Seychelles is making in the two areas.

"Seychelles has stepped up its effort over the previous years in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by accelerating the transition to renewable sources of power through introducing smart renewable energy and energy efficiency schemes in both domestics and commercials sectors," said Agricole.

Other contributors to the improvement, said Agricole, is the policy change in clean and renewable energy, particularly in the transport sector.

"The increase of imported hybrids and electric vehicles in the country which consume less fossil fuel and emit fewer pollutants into the atmosphere, hence decoupling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from economic activity, has contributed to this marked improvement."

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has over the years faced environmental challenges ranging from climate change, biological invasions, coral bleaching and coastal erosion

Agricole said that Seychelles also "need to improve on data collection, reporting, and verification across a range of environmental issues urgently if we want to achieve an even better overall EPI ranking in 2019."

In regards to overall index-ranking, Switzerland topped the overall 2018 list. Seychelles placed 39th overall. Seychelles has been rated as the country with the highest improvement in terms of environmental trends and progress.

Though the country has made such an impressive improvement, there are categories that where it has recorded a drop in performance. Within the 'Water and Sanitation' category Seychelles has gone from 67th place to 76th.

The island nation went down 17 places in the 'Biodiversity and Habitat' category.

Sitting at the bottom of the Environmental Performance Index is Burundi.

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