A proposal for a composite index of environmental performance (CIEP) for countries

  1. das Neves Almeida, Thiago Alexandre
Supervised by:
  1. Isabel María García Sánchez Director

Defence university: Universidad de Salamanca

Fecha de defensa: 13 October 2015

  1. Isabel Gallego Álvarez Chair
  2. José Valeriano Frías Aceituno Secretary
  3. Sara Moreno Pires Committee member

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 394932 DIALNET


In recent years, a body of scientists has dedicated themselves to measuring and explaining the negative impacts on the environment. Some propositions have emerged through the use of different variables and methods. However, the conclusions about ecological damage are still controversial and a subject of current debate. The present study focuses on this agenda. The starting point is the development of an environmental composite index called Composite Index of Environmental Performance (CIEP), used to measure ecological quality within countries. It is developed using 19 single variables grouped into 5 dimensions according to the driving force¿pressure¿state¿exposure¿effect¿action (DPSEEA) model framework. Moreover, the robustness test is performed in order to check the level of information quality and the rate of the score variation if further methodologies were used. Based on this tool, a ranking is created with 152 analyzed countries over a period 6 years, and then, it is compared with another composite index, the Environmental Performance Index (EPI). Through the comparative analysis, it is observed that the CIEP and EPI used around 20% of the same single variables, and that the rate of ranking variation between both indexes was 21%. Furthermore, an econometric model is developed to analyze the correlation between economic development and environmental performance. The outputs do not support the EKC hypothesis. To conclude, an exploratory model is run in order to explain the ecological quality of the countries studied. Some highlights are found with the produced outputs. It is observed that, in general, the best and the worst environmental performances remain in the same rank during the analyzed period. At the top are the richer, democratic countries, localized in Europe. On the other hand, the worst environmental performances are achieved by the non-democratic and poorest countries, localized in Africa. Furthermore, a positive effect is observed regarding the socio-political aspects on the environmental performance.