With the increase in carbon emissions alongside population growth, it has never been more critical for countries to become more sustainable.
Fortunately, more and more nations are starting to take environmental issues seriously, with the environmental performance index (or EPI) a useful tool to measure the green credentials of various countries around the world.
The EPI assesses a country’s eco-performance across nine categories: agriculture, air quality, biodiversity and habitat, climate and energy, forests, fisheries, health impacts, water resources, and water and sanitation.
Countries are ranked based on how well they protect both human health and natural ecosystems across these categories.
So who are the most environmentally-friendly countries in the world?
Scandinavian countries lead the way, according to the EPI, with the top four spots taken by Finland (first), Iceland (second), Sweden (third), and Denmark (fourth).
For those familiar with the culture and politics of this region, this is a reflection of Scandinavia’s commitment to sustainability and green living. Finland, in particular, has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050, demonstrating a continued commitment to achieving this aim.
With one of the largest geothermal power stations in the world, EPI places Iceland in second position, a fantastic achievement considering the country’s population is just 338,000 people.
Following the example set by the Nordic countries, the top 10 is rounded out by six other European nations, with Slovenia (fifth), Spain (sixth), Portugal (seventh), Estonia (eighth), Malta (ninth), and France (tenth), also committed to positive environmental practice.
Of the non-European countries ranked by EPI, New Zealand is the highest-ranking, placing eleventh. The UK is in twelfth position, thanks to the progress made in renewable energy through offshore wind farms. Canada and the USA are 25th and 26th respectively, while Germany rounds out the top 30.
View the top 30 most environmentally-friendly countries in the world below:
Source: eCO2 Greetings