WHAT IS THE GREENEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD?

By: PeterATLAS & BOOTS

In January of this year, Yale University presented their latest Environmental Performance Index (EPI) Report naming Finland as the greenest country in the world. We take a look at the report and its key findings.

The EPI builds on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), formally adopted in September 2015. The main objective of the report is to assess and rank how 180 countries protect their ecosystems and human health, while in the process naming the greenest country in the world.

“THE EPI DATA RANKS COUNTRIES’ PERFORMANCE ON HIGH-PRIORITY ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN TWO AREAS: PROTECTION OF HUMAN HEALTH AND PROTECTION OF ECOSYSTEMS.”
– EPI REPORT

The ranking covers nine categories: agriculture, air quality, biodiversity and habitat, climate and energy, forests, fisheries, health impacts, water resources, and water and sanitation. To calculate a country’s performance, the EPI draws on 20 key indicators to create an overall score out of 100, with 100 being the best score and 0 the worst. The greenest country in the world was Finland, scoring 90.68.

greenest-country-in-the-world-3

KEY HEADLINES

In addition to the overall country rankings, the EPI provides an overview of global environmental performance and identifies the following nine key trends:

  1. More deaths globally occur due to poor air quality than water. 
  2. More than 3.5 billion people – half of the world’s population – live in nations with unsafe air quality.
  3. The number of people lacking access to clean water has been cut nearly in half from 960 million in 2000 to 550 million today; around 8% of the world’s population. Around 2.4 billion people lack access to sanitation.

A GLOBAL PROBLEM

The world is making progress and addressing some environmental issues (access to drinking water and sanitation) but global air quality exhibits a troubling decline. The interactive map below shows concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) across the whole world, along with visual representations of the world’s dirtiest power plants and major cities. A larger map can be viewed here:

http://www.atlasandboots.com/infographics/EPI-airmap.html

THE GREENEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD

Finland’s position as the greenest country in the world is a consequence of its continued commitment to achieving a carbon-neutral society. The country’s government is devoted to not exceeding “nature’s carrying capacity” by 2050.

Finland has a legally binding goal of consuming 38% of its final energy from renewable sources by 2020. It already produces nearly two-thirds of its electricity from renewable or nuclear power sources.

Read the whole article and the list of countries: http://www.atlasandboots.com/greenest-country-in-the-world/

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