By Herro, Alana
World Watch , Vol. 21, No. 1
The so-called "BRIC" countries--Brazil, Russia, India, and China--all scored in the top 11 in a recent ranking of countries' commitment to the environment. The list evaluates the efforts of these four nations alongside those of 21 members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a group of the world's wealthier nations. The results indicate that when it comes to finding solutions to climate change, "rich countries should take the lead, but developing countries need to follow pretty closely behind," said David Roodman of the Center for Global Development (CGD).
The ranking is part of CGD's 2007 Commitment to Development Index, an annual assessment of OECD countries' efforts to "build prosperity, good government, and security." The Index evaluates indicators in seven key areas--aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology--and calculates an overall score for each nation. Of the 21 OECD countries surveyed, the Netherlands scored highest, in part because of policies that promote productive investment in poor countries, while Japan scored lowest, in part because of its high tariffs on rice imports.
In 2007, for the first time in its five-year history, the Index evaluated the BRIC countries' environmental performance alongside the OECD countries. …