It’s pretty easy to focus on the negative aspects and the news regarding environmental issues. Pollution, fossil fuels, wildlife displacement, and urban expansion are just some of these. Well, this piece is here to remind us that we can also focus on the positive. Here are the most eco-friendly countries in the world.
At the time of writing, Denmark has the highest EPI score – 82.5. This means that it is, by all accounts, the most environmentally friendly country in the world. The green culture the country has built is focused on showing why going green is a good idea for its citizens. Little less than a half of their power consumption can be taken care of with their wind farms.
That’s not the only amazing feat. Copenhagen, in particular, has a few energy-efficient structures, not least of which is Amager Bakke, the trash incinerator. You may think that anyone can just burn their garbage and be done with it. However, can you do it while heating the city and reducing the CO2 emissions by more than 99%?
Denmark is not just now starting its environmental trend. They’ve improved quite a lot in the last ten years. Furthermore, back in the 60s, they established a biking culture. This ensured lower fuel consumption.
Coming in at number 2 is Luxembourg with an EPI score of 82.3. It’s a shame the country didn’t get to be the best this year. Especially when you consider that their score improved by 11.6 over the last 10 years, which is the best improvement across the board. The only other country which has worked as hard at being eco-friendly is Malta.
Anyway, what makes Luxembourg so great? Well, for one thing, the country is maintaining and improving its policies despite the growing population. It is very keen on protecting biodiversity and water resources.
One of its key points is eco-tourism. As in, visitors have a chance to stay in eco-friendly accommodations. Many hotels and youth hostels have the Eco Label, a certificate for exceptional environmentally friendly practices.
With an EPI score of 81.5, it is easy to see why the Swiss are at number 3. Urban expansion is not something that ‘just happens’ here. In fact, Switzerland has something called the Spatial Planning Act, which is aimed at protecting natural spaces and resources.
The Swiss are also dedicated to achieving several of OneEarth’s goals. These include relying completely on renewable energy, transitioning to carbon-negative agriculture, and protection and restoration of earth’s lands and oceans.
One of the best ways Switzerland protects the environment can be seen in the country’s treatment of water. While the rest of the world is slowly starting to struggle with obtaining enough drinking water, the country is acting as the world’s water tower. In fact, their tap water is one of the cleanest and safest to drink in the world.
This is the only country in the world that can parry Switzerland’s water quality. The United Kingdom has an EPI of 81.3, mostly due to how the country processes its water. However, there are a few other weapons in their arsenal, like their low pollution emissions.
The country constantly works towards reaching the goals of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy. It’s a plan that is revised regularly and contains notes and ideas on how to deal with environmental issues.
The country recognizes that the usage of fossil fuels cannot be stopped in its tracks overnight. However, if they are used responsibly and regulated while alternatives are explored and developed, it should only be a matter of time before they phase out.