For the first time, a country’s environmental footprint has been taken into account in determining rankings for the UN’s Human Development Index.

The ‘planetary pressures adjusted’ 2021 Human Development Index (PHDI) takes into account a country’s relative planetary pressure – carbon dioxide emissions per person (production-based) and material footprint per capita – when measuring their level of human development. Based on this new methodology for assessing ‘human development’, 26 Commonwealth countries have improved their HDI ranking in comparison with the 2020 index. Sri Lanka’s ranking has improved the most year-on-year, moving up by 34 places. Singapore’s fell by 92 places.