Living in a clean environment is a dream for all citizens of the world, especially when the problems of climate change and pollution are currently getting worse. A clean environment is closely related to a better and longer life. Clean air, clean water, good waste management and sanitation, as well as access to quality health services are known to significantly improve human health, including life expectancy.
This is what attracted the interest of researchers at Yale University and Columbia University to collaborate with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to create an Environmental Performance Index (EPI). EPI ranks 180 countries around the world based on climate change, environmental health and ecosystem vitality.
The following is a list of the cleanest countries in the world according to the 2022 Environmental Performance Index report.
This Nordic country in Northern Europe was named the cleanest and most environmentally friendly country according to the Environmental Performance Index in 2022. Denmark achieved a total EPI score of 77.9 out of 100. This country, with a population of only 5.83 million people, excels in the categories of marine protected areas, processing wastewater, and low growth rates of SO2 and NOX emissions. Denmark indeed has the most comprehensive and effective policies in the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent climate change.
This country, which is synonymous with Lego toys, provides trash bins in all corners of the city of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Both streets, cities, stations and parks are always neat and clean because they are swept at least three times a day. More than two-thirds of hotels in this city have environmentally friendly certificates to support sustainability actions. The reason is, the Copenhagen government wants to make this city carbon neutral by 2025.
The UK is on the list of the second cleanest countries in the world, with an EPI of 77.7 out of 100. This score is quite impressive considering the country’s population is 67.25 million people. The country where King Charles III’s family lives received perfect scores for drinking water, sanitation and pollution emissions policies.
The Great British Spring Clean is the UK’s largest annual mass environmental campaign. At the end of March every year, British people work together to restore their environment by collecting and recycling rubbish from streets, parks, beaches and other public spaces.
Helsinki, Finland/Photo: Instagram.com/helsinkiofficial
Not only does Finland hold the title of cleanest country, Finland is also the happiest country and one of the countries with the best air quality in the world according to WHO data. The country nicknamed the Land of a Thousand Lakes has an EPI of 76.5 and ranked first in the world for air quality, least loss of pasture, sanitation and drinking water, waste processing and exposure to heavy metals.
As much as 75% of Finland’s land is beautiful forests which play an important role in maintaining oxygen-rich air quality. This country also prioritizes forest and wildlife conservation and invests heavily in renewable energy. Overall, Finland’s capital, Helsinki, is an environmentally friendly city.
Malta is a small island country in the Mediterranean Sea. Malta is renowned for its beautiful beaches, clear waters and the ancient medieval feel of its many historical sites.
Malta received an EPI score of 75.2 out of 100, and excels in terms of sanitation, drinking water and removal of harmful gas emissions.
Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is one of the most environmentally friendly cities in Europe. All train and bus public transportation in this city uses renewable fuel. This is because the Swedish Energy Policy Commission has set a target that all power plants must use renewable energy by 2040 and energy efficiency must be 50 percent higher by 2030.
Summarizing the Smart City Sweden page, people in Swedish cities have good access to green areas around them. Almost all houses, even in lower class settlements, have clean water, sewerage, space heating, a neat road network, as well as lighting and well-functioning management of household waste and waste.
With an EPI score of 72.3, Luxembourg was ranked the sixth cleanest country. One of the smallest countries in Europe and the most developed economy in the world, it has achieved significant progress in reducing negative impacts on the environment.
However, what is more impressive are the scores in terms of sanitation (100), drinking water (97.8), and waste processing (100). Having many forest areas, Luxembourg focuses on protecting biodiversity within a biome.
Referring to The Slovenia page, this country which borders Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia is considered one of the cleanest and most sustainable countries in the world. This has been recognized by National Geographic Traveler Magazine in 2017. Tourist destinations in Slovenia are dominated by dense forests, parks and nature reserves which are home to around 20,000 different plants and animals, with a variety of hiking trails.
The capital, Ljubljana, was also named the most environmentally friendly capital in Europe in 2016 by the European Union for leading sustainable tourism. Not to mention, this city is also one of the cleanest capital cities in the world.
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