The aim of this study is first to establish whether any relationships exist between countries' environmental performance, governance and socioeconomic characteristics and whether it is possible to classify countries according to these relationships. To achieve these objectives we used the 10 policy categories of the 2012 EPI and some external characteristics - control of corruption, rule of law, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, voice and accountability, political stability, population, population density and GDP per capita - since they have been previously used in the literature and demonstrated to be related to the EPI. We confront the problem from a multivariate perspective, using co-inertia analysis (COIA), a multivariate statistical method that allows us to directly relate both sets of variables measured in the same countries. The main results from the empirical analysis show that governance indicators and per capita GDP are strongly and directly related to the EPI policy categories concerning environmental effects on human beings, forestry and biodiversity and habitat, and that most European countries and North America present high scores in all of these variables. In contrast, these governance indicators are inversely related to agriculture, climate change, fisheries and the effects that air pollution has on nature, and the majority of countries in Africa, South America and Asia perform better in these political categories but with lower governance rates. The effect of water on nature and political stability covariate positively and both relate negatively to the social variables.
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