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20 Most Eco friendly Countries in the World

The most eco friendly countries in the world have practices, measures, and policies in place to help preserve and even restore the natural environment and its resources as well as improve the health of its citizens. And As the countries struggle to combat climate change, going green is becoming more important than ever.

With the world becoming more aware of the amount of resources they consume, countries everywhere are taking steps to make their industries more sustainable. With an eye towards the future, countries like Sweden, Japan, and Canada have joined the “green movement.” Others have increased their focus on renewable energy and the protection of natural resources.

What is a Green country?

So being environmentally friendly (eco-friendly, nature-friendly, or green) means to have little or no damaging effect on the environment around us by engaging in sustainable practices. When this term is applied to a country we measure this on laws, guidelines, and policies that are in place to minimize and protect the environment and ecosystems.

Goods and services are also monitored and environmentally friendly products, processes and practises help do reduce harm to the natural environment. This conserves resources like water and energy which lowers the contribution to pollution.

We quantify the environmental performance of a countries laws and policies using EPI (Environmental performance index).This performance index ranks countries on 24 performance indicators in a range of 10 different issue categories. These categories cover ecosystem vitality and environmental health.

20 Most Eco Friendly Countries

most eco friendly countries

The best way to care for the environment is to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. But how eco-friendly is your country? Some countries have more of a burden from their carbon emissions. Others do their best to protect the environment and the health of the country. Many countries focus on reducing their carbon emissions to maintain a balanced world. Here are the 20 most eco friendly countries in the world:

20.  Japan

Japan is widely considered as one of the most modern and progressive economies in the world in regards to their dedication to promote environmental protection. Japan is planning to have 50% of all new cars to produce zero emissions within the next 10 years, vehicles are one the biggest causes of pollution, so hybrid and electric cars will help reduce this.

The country’s biggest major cities are aiming to be 100% carbon emission free by 2050. The recycling system used in Japan is one of the best in the world, with around 10 different categories of recyclables.

Japan has an EPI rating of 74.69. Japan scored well on both the Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality categories scoring 92.99.

Targets

At least a 46% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2013 levels by 2030. Japan has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

19. Israel

Israel is the 19th greenest country on our list, due in large part to the country’s pioneering technology and emphasis on green building. Technion’s research and development centre, established in 1945, is the oldest university scientific research and development centre of any kind in the world, preparing more than 500 PhDs and another, 1,000 MAs. Israel has 39 research facilities and is home to 84 certified ISO companies.

In terms of green technology, there’s no denying Israeli clout. The “start-up nation,” whose renowned tech sector accounts for 35 to 40 percent of GDP, has earned the moniker due in no small part to sustainability. Israeli innovation in green tech has turned the country into a worldwide powerhouse. One example is water, a scarcity of which has long plagued the middle East.

Though blessed with few natural sources, Israelis have tackled the difficulty through desalination, irrigation, and recycling. Israel has not only solved its own problem by ensuring its population a stable and safe supply, but has also become a key global distributer of water technology.

Israel has an EPI rating of 75.01. Israel scored well on both the Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality categories scoring 94.14.

Targets

To cut carbon emissions by 85% from 2015 levels by 2050.

18. Netherlands

The Netherlands has long been known for its innovative architecture, its major trade in tulips and its world-class public transit system. But after becoming the first country to prescribe a greenhouse gas-reduction target, the Netherlands has officially entered the list of green countries.

This country has been promoting a green economy since the 1970s, with the principle of sustainability being taught in schools since the 1980s. The country ranked amongst the top in the world for categories such as clean water, quality of life, education, and health.

Netherlands has an EPI rating of 75.46. Netherlands scored well on both the Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality categories scoring 92.26.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Netherlands has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

17. New Zealand

Producing just 0.2% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, New Zealand was one of the first countries to pledge a carbon-neutral future. A number of companies have already achieved carbon Zero certification, and many other companies are working toward the goal. New Zealand’s parliament has also passed a legislation to aim for total net zero by 2050.

New Zealand has 13 national parks, and about one-third of its land area is protected in parks and reserves. And the country has one of the most sustainable farming systems in the world.

The population of New Zealand is also committed to sustainable living, the large majority of consumers only buy sustainable products. New Zealand’s public transport system has been innovated to reduce the amount of car users.

New Zealand has an EPI rating of 75.96. New Zealand scored well on both the Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality categories scoring 95.96.

Targets

At least a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. New Zealand has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

16. Italy

Italy has invested heavily in renewable energy, having surpassed its 2020 target already. The share of renewables in Italy’s energy mix has shown a distinct upward trend from 6% in 2007 to 15%- around twice the G20 average.

The country has shown a reduction in both the share of energy from fossil fuels by 14% and import dependency by 9%, compared to 1990 levels. Italy is the first country in the world to make sustainability and climate crisis compulsory subjects for schoolchildren.

Italy is the 11th-greenest country with an EPI rating of 76.96. Italy scored well on both the Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality categories scoring 85.88.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Italy has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

15. Belgium

Belgium is one of the greenest countries in the world and it’s not hard to see why. With an impressive 9-smoke-free areas and designated green zones throughout the country, Belgium is committed to cutting its carbon footprint.

With its green energy, impressive recycling rates, and wide array of trails and green areas, Belgium takes pride in being one of the most environmentally conscious states.

Belgium is the 15th-greenest country with an EPI rating of 77.38. Belgium scored well on both the Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality categories scoring 89.37.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Belgium has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

14. Norway

The Norwegian government recently published the Sustainable Development Goals for the country, which have already been approved by the United Nations. The Government said Norway must be a sustainable and green country by 2030 and expanded on the national ambitions to set sustainable climate goals. 

Statistically, the country has about 160 thousand fewer tons carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, each year, than countries like Canada, the United States and England.

Norway is the 14th-greenest country with an EPI rating of 77.49. Norway scored well on both the Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality categories scoring 97.86.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Norway has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

13. Germany

Germany is one of the world’s leading countries for eco-friendly initiatives and practices. They have the second largest renewable energy production in the mix, with solar energy and wind power being the leading source of energy production.

Germany is putting an emphasis on living green and has emerged as a global leader in the renewable energy space. Almost 70 per cent of the land areas of Germany’s largest cities is taken up by green spaces.

Germany is the 13th-greenest country with an EPI rating of 78.37. Germany scored well on both the Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality categories scoring 88.68.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Germany has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

12. Spain

In recent years, Spain has been rapidly upgrading its green energy and infrastructure, from a solar-powered airport to establishing the biggest grid of wind power in Europe. Spain has registered its best ranking yet and has a very strong culture of sustainability.

Spain’s greenness is linked to its culture, which is the most sustainable in Europe. In terms of energy, 20% of Spain’s electricity production comes from renewables, compared to only 2% in the United States.

Spain is the 12th-greenest country with an EPI rating of 78.39. Spain scored well on both the Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality categories scoring 94.21.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Spain has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

11. Iceland

Iceland, a tiny island country with a population of 320,000, is a paradoxical country, with plenty of fossil fuels, freezing winters and impressive nature conservation, but with less per capita greenhouse gas emissions than many countries like England and Spain.

Iceland’s young government, which came to power in 2009, has made a point of environmental responsibility and renewable energy. Iceland was also the first country in the world to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2016.

Iceland is the 11th-greenest country with an EPI rating of 78.57. Iceland scored well on both the Environmental Health and Ecosystem Vitality categories scoring 98.41.  and for PM2.5 exposure under the air quality category.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Iceland has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

10. Finland

The tiny country has been praised by The World Bank as the most sustainable country in the world. With a population of 5.5 million, Finland practices organic farming and boasts a low level of pollution and wide availability of electricity – generating almost half of the country’s power from the sun.

With the help of the country’s dedicated data officials, the country’s citizenry has access to detailed energy and waste data to reduce energy consumptions and monitor performance.

Finishing the top ten list of the greenest countries is Finland, which scored 78.64 on the EPI. Finland ranks first for environmental health with a rating of 99.35 in that category. additionally, Finland scored considerably high in the heavy metals exposure, water and sanitation, and air quality categories.

Finland prioritizes woodland and wildlife conservation and is currently 35% powered by means of renewable energy sources.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Finland has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

9.  Ireland

The first decade of the 21st century has been a tumultuous one for the residents of Ireland. With the country’s economy on the brink of collapse, the country needs to rebuild. The economy is no longer entirely dominated by agriculture.

The Irish language is enjoying a revival and the country has gone from being one of the most expensive in the world to one of the most inexpensive. With a new fashion-forward vibe and a focus on sustainability, it is poised to finally become one of the greenest countries in the world.

Ireland’s incredible natural beauty, is a major plus and why it ranks so high. Irish people have, on average, the most access to green spaces in Europe, because of the undeveloped nature of much of the country.

This is a great example of Ireland’s effort to preserve their natural resources. And a new report found that environmental regulation is the second-most effective way to keep the nation’s carbon emissions low.

Ireland is the ninth-greenest country with an EPI rating of 78.77. Ireland scored perfect 100s for both the water and sanitation category and for PM2.5 exposure under the air quality category.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Ireland has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

8. Austria

Austria is one of the world’s most eco-friendly countries. Its embrace of solar power and renewables like hydropower and wind power ensures that the country’s energy is clean and green.

And yet, the high quality of life in Austria also contributes greatly to its environmental standards; modern transport and technology are major factors in helping Austria reach its green goals. Austria ranked first for green travel in the world with a score of 89.6 out of 100.

Austria’s EPI rating is 78.97. The country is known for having strict requirements for waste control, chemical substances, air pollutants, and agriculture. Austria ranked considerably high for agriculture, receiving a rating of 71.34, and ecosystem vitality with a rating of 74.03.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Austria has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

7. Luxembourg

Luxembourg has been named one of the greenest countries in the world, thanks in part to high taxes on gas and diesel fuel that incentivize car-free living. And despite its growing population and GDP, Luxembourg is still one of the greenest countries, thanks to its progress in decoupling environmental pressures from its growth.

Being one of the smallest countries in the world, Luxembourg has long been leading the way in sustainability. From its eco-friendly government to initiatives like the Rodda Valley, which is thought to be the only subtropical rainforest to be found in Europe, Luxembourg is recognised as one of the greenest cities in the world.

Regardless of its growing population and GDP, Luxembourg is the seventh-greenest country thanks to its progress in decoupling environmental pressures from its growth. Luxembourg’s overall EPI rating is 79.12, scoring 5th in the biodiversity and habitat category and fifth for water resources with a rating of 99.76.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Luxembourg has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

6. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is world-renowned for its stunning landscape and with a recent report by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the country can also take pride in its remarkable environmental record.

The United Kingdom’s healthy, green economy is the result of the country focusing on renewable energy sources, reducing energy consumption, and promoting eco-friendly living.

The UK has a high number of clean energy options, websites and eco-friendly publications. The country also has a world-class energy industry that is constantly making high-ranking strides in green technology. The UK regularly runs decennial reviews of its energy sector and it is an excellent place for green tech companies to invest.

The UK has an overall EPI rating of 79.89. The UK is considered to be the 6th-greenest country in the world. The United Kingdom scored 100 for water and sanitation, which includes drinking water and sanitation. There are about 8,879 wind turbines presently in the UK, providing the country with sustainable, clean energy.

Targets

At least a 68% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030 and 78% by 2035. The UK has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

5. Sweden

Sweden is one of the greenest countries in the world. The Nordic nation ranks highly when it comes to sustainability, thanks in part to its stringent energy, carbon and water saving policies, and its use of renewable energy, Sweden is almost emission-free.

It has also led the charge to protect the environment, as well as the health of the global population, in recent years, creating sustainable products and projects with companies like Nike, IKEA and Volvo. Sweden is very proud to have a strong environmental identity, with over 30% of the countries power relying on renewable sources.

Sweden is the fifth-greenest country in the world with an EPI rating of 80.51. Sweden is known for being one of the most sustainable nations in the world, notably for its use of renewable power sources and low carbon dioxide emissions. Sweden’s authorities set an ambitious aim for 2045, pledging to be fossil fuel-free and running 100% on renewable power.

Sweden scored a perfect score for addressing the lif-threatening impact of lead exposure in the heavy metals category.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Sweden has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

4. Malta

Malta is one of the greenest countries in Europe. The island, which shares its sovereignty with Italy, offers a panorama of wealth and beauty with its sea, beaches, hills, and spectacular nature. To protect its natural environment, the country has set up an important scheme of tree-planting and has won many awards for wildlife conservation.

This small island is rich in natural resources and has developed its own pioneering clean energy system. Additionally, Malta has the most progressive legislation when it comes to environmentally conscious issues such as littering and water pollution.

Malta’s EPI rating is 80.9, ranking at the top for the biodiversity and habitat category and water sanitation and water resources. Malta is known for its efficient and environmentally-friendly train system as well as its agritourism.

Malta’s rank as the fourth-greenest country in the world comes with its challenges, such as the country’s lack of space and local resources, power dependency, water scarcity, and waste control.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Malta has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

3 .France

France is paying a lot of attention to its carbon footprint and is creating legislation that will put the country on the path towards sustainability. With the world’s sixth largest economy, France has the means and pull to set an example to other countries by upping its environmental practices and becoming a truly green country.

France has recently passed a law that mandates that new buildings constructed in a commercial zone must partially cover their roofs in either plants or solar panels. Green roofs have great benefits for cities and towns, including improved air quality by reducing carbon dioxide, and they conserve energy by providing greater thermal performance and roof insulation.

France is also putting a $164 million investment into making Paris a cyclist haven that will compete with the likes of Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

France is known for its environmental projects including hydro turbines alongside its rivers and prohibiting its supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food (that is still of good quality). France’s overall EPI rating was 83.95 and scored specially high for air pollution with a rating of 96.82.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. France has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

2.Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the most green countries on the planet. This is due to the efforts of the Swiss environmental policy, as well as the country’s success at meeting 70% of its energy demand through renewable sources. The country’s unique urban development plan has ensured that transportation, energy and food are integrated with each other, making it the most sustainable country in Swiss history.

With an overall EPI score of 87.42, Switzerland is the greenest country in the world. Switzerland obtained nearly perfect scores for water sanitation and water resources, scoring 99.99 and 99.67 respectively. additionally, Switzerland scored considerably high for sustainability, with a increase in many clean energies including solar energy, wind turbines, hydroelectric power, geothermal power, and heat pumps.

Targets

At least a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. This corresponds to an average reduction of at least 35 percent over the period 2021–2030. Switzerland has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

1.Denmark

Which is the cleanest and greenest country in the world?

According to the EPI index in year 2022 (Environmental Performance Index) prepared by Yale and Columbia Universities, Denmark is the world’s cleanest and greenest country.

In one of the latest international rankings, Denmark is one of the countries with the highest amount of environmental sustainability. The Scandinavian state is now using less and producing more.

Experts attribute the country’s success to mixing renewable energy generation with other non-renewable sources, like oil and gas. Denmark also has the highest concentration of organic food in the world, making up over 46% of the country’s food total.

The country’s focus on greens has brought Denmark $5.5 billion in investments this year. Another reason Denmark has been innovative: the country receives over $1 billion from the EU for their technology.

Denmark is considered to be the third-greenest country in the world with an overall EPI score of 81.60. Denmark is known for its efficient greenhouse gas emission guidelines and its efforts to prevent climate change. The country stands out for its scores in the biodiversity and habitat category and air quality.

Targets

At least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. Denmark has also committed to reaching net zero GHG emissions by 2050.

Conclusion

To reduce their carbon footprint and become more environmentally friendly, countries have implemented various methods. According to the 20 Most Acclaimed Green Cities In The World, countries ranking high on the environmental performance index have cities that prioritize green spaces and focus on transitioning to renewable energy sources, expanding public transportation, and investing in electric vehicles. Additionally, they aim to improve the energy efficiency of older buildings and design new buildings with sustainability in mind.

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