U.S. environmental performance ranks below Malaysia, Chile, 25 others

We beat Cyprus! Yeah, boyee! The Mediterranean island nation comes in at 29th in a landmark pilot study ranking countries by their environmental performance. The U.S. comes in at a blazing 28th — just behind most of Western Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Chile, and, uh, Slovakia. The 2006 Environmental Performance Index — jointly produced by Yale and Columbia Universities — ranks New Zealand No. 1 for overall success in attaining such environmental goals as sustainable fisheries and greenhouse-gas emission cuts. The U.S. scored at the top for environmental health factors like indoor air pollution and sanitation, but poorly on agricultural, forest, and fisheries management. The final report will be released at the World Economic Forum, the exclusive annual summit of business and policy pooh-bahs taking place this week in Davos, Switzerland.