The world is making advancements towards becoming green especially for environmentally conscious nations as they work hard to develop their economies. Industries have been set up, people have ventured into real estate, and governments are constantly making great milestones in the health, education, energy and transportation sectors. These developments have allowed countries to provide a better economy and life to its citizens.
However, this does not come without consequences to the environment. Global warming and environmental degradation is one of the impacts faced. The environment is thus at a risk, particularly with the increase in the number of production industries, expansion of modern transport and residential developments. Despite these environmental risks that come with development, there are countries that have worked hard to reduce them and keep their environment green. Here are 11 countries that have been termed as the greenest in 2017:
Iceland is one of the countries that takes its environment very seriously and invests in its sustainability. It has been graded as one of the greenest countries in world. Besides, it has been in the fore front in the implementation of programs that are eco-friendly. It boasts of an Environmental Performance index of 93.5.
It has placed focus on production of electricity and heat by utilizing geothermal landscapes. Iceland has also played a major role in the fight against ocean pollution. It has made sure that the waters are kept clean and fishing is done while prioritizing on protecting the environment.
Switzerland is the second most greenest country in the world in 2017 with an Environmental Protection index of 89.1. It has put into place various measures to ensure that the environment is kept clean and at the same time sustainable. The setting up of Alpine park is one of the steps it took. Additionally, the country has focused on production of resources by using renewable energy, a move that promotes a green economy.
Switzerland has over the years made laws that have allowed farmlands to develop and prevent them from being used for infrastructural expansion. These contributions by the country has allowed it to be green as the natural environment has been kept safe. Clean air, beautiful lakes and mountains have been notable features that make it prominent.
3. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is popularly known for its amazing scenery and equally intriguing landscape. The green in its environment is clearly evident at first glance. It boasts an Environmental Protection Index of 86.4. The country has put stern measures to avoid both air and water pollution and hoping to achieve a carbon neutral environment by the year 2021.
The citizens of the country use renewable energy in order to avoid the production of greenhouse gases. Costa Rica hopes to be the first carbon neutral country in the world and is constantly seeking for funding to make this possible. Other than being one of the greenest countries in the world, Costa Rica is also considered to be one with the happiest people in it.
Sweden is listed among the greenest countries in the world with an Environmental Protection Index of 86.0. The country plans on eradicating the use of fossil fuel by the year 2020. The move is meant to prevent environmental pollution. What’s more, they have embraced the use of renewable energy that is eco-friendly to keep the environment natural and safe from pollution.
The use of renewable energy greatly contributes to the reduction of carbon in the air thus a cleaner and safer environment. The most notable action is the partnership between Sweden and its neighboring countries, especially by taking responsibility to protect the Baltic Sea and protect the ecosystem. The environmental governance body in Sweden is amongst the most sound and this has contributed to the fact that Sweden has been kept green.
Norway is one of the counties in Europe that has a significantly green environment. It has an Environmental Protection Index of 81.1. The country has made sure that its residential and commercial facilities do not release any greenhouse gases to the environment. Like other countries, Norway has made sure that the whole country uses eco-friendly and renewable sources of energy so as to reduce the rate of pollution and carbon production.
Norway has put in place sustainable development strategies and environmental laws that are supposed to aid in realization of a carbon neutral country by the year 2030. Most interestingly, Norway cultivates a relationship with nature. Children from a tender age are taught on how to live together with nature and protect the environment. In addition, Norway uses ecological knowledge to keep its environment clean and safe.
Mauritius, a small island country in Africa, has played a major role in keeping its environment green. It has an Environmental Performance Index of 80.6. Mauritius being an island, has worked tirelessly to protect its ports. It has set up laws and protection acts that reduce the rate of pollution whilst promoting environmental protection.
The contribution of Nicholas Sarkozy played a major role in making France one of the greenest countries in the world. He implemented legislations that made it mandatory for all of France to partake in making the country eco-friendly and to conserve energy. France has an Environmental Protection Index of 78.2. France has been endowed with very fertile grounds and is one of the top exporters of food. It is also makes wine thanks to the grape fields it has.
The country has less industries as compared to other countries and this has helped in the reduction of air pollution. Over the years, France has been working on deindustrialization – a move that has seen the environmental state of the country improve as water pollution has been reduced significantly. Additionally, France has vowed to change its resource usage and methods of production to conserve the environment.
Austria has an Environmental performance Index of 78.1. It achieves this Index by relentlessly striving to maintain the natural conditions of its environment. Among the major actions taken by Austria is putting environmental protection in its social and economic policy agenda.
Austria has also worked hard in sectors such as waste management and chemical as well as air pollution to prevent such pollutants from destroying the environment. Further, Austria has incorporated ecological knowledge in their agriculture to prevent pollution. This has been highlighted by the restriction on the use of pesticides. It has also put measures into place to protect its forest and reduce deforestation. All these have contributed to making it one of the greenest countries in the world.
Cuba is not left behind among the countries ranked as the greenest in the world. This is evidenced considering its Environmental Protection Index of 78.1. Cuba has worked hard in keeping its environment green and safe by reducing the use of Pesticides on farmland since they are chemicals that negatively impact the environment.
The sea level has also been lowered to protect the soil from excessive salt that might destroy it. Environmental awareness is also taught in schools so that children can embrace it and practice it to sustain the environment.
Colombia is a beautiful country that has been blessed with amazing sceneries and vegetation. Particularly, Colombia is endowed with the amazon forest, tropical rainforests and deserts. It also has thousands of species living in its ecosystem. Policies and regulations have equally been set up to protect the environment and preserve its biodiversity.
Despite the fact that they were initially accused of degrading their natural environment, they have worked tirelessly to regain the lost glory by making laws that favor the sustainability of the environment. It has an Environmental Performance Index of 76.8 and is ranked among the greenest countries in the world.
Finland finishes the top 11 list among the greenest countries in the world for the year 2017. In the 80’s, Finland was known for high scores of nitrogen emission and other activities that destroyed the environment. However, over the years, improvements have been noted as the country strives to restore its environment to its original state.
The body in charge of the environment in Finland has worked hard to make sure greenhouse gases are not produced and that the citizens in the country use renewable sources of energy for production. Wind power has greatly been made use of. According to Yale University’s annual Environmental Performance Index, Finland has planned to have more than half of its electricity coming from renewable sources of energy.