Traveling to the magnificent places in the world is a life changing adventure – collecting new experiences and expanding worldviews. However, there are more than 180 countries in our world and you don’t want to regret when you arrive at your destination, do you? The key is in narrowing your choices and among first things many of us will check when choosing a destination is the security or cleanliness of a country.
In keeping with the current awakening of the consciousness regarding ecological problems and their impact on our planet and life in general, we bring a list of 10 cleanest countries in the world. But what determines whether a country is clean and what parameters are taken into account? One of the best ways to check which countries in the world are the cleanest is to look at the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), which is a project developed by Yale and Columbia University.
EPI takes into account a number of factors directly related to the environment, such as air pollution and water sanitation, and combines them to find a solid number to characterize the environmental situation in countries.
1. Switzerland is a country known for its dense forests, vast green areas, wilderness and safe and clear water. The top spot is the result of aggressive climate change laws, clean air and biodiversity.
2. France got a high rating on air, water and fishing quality. Although this country is industrialized, 79% of its electricity depends on nuclear energy leading to low carbon dioxide emissions.
3. Denmark is also known for its emphasis on renewable energies as opposed to conventional ones. Denmark hopes that by 2035, 84% of its regular electricity needs will come from wind farms.
4. Malta is a country which has made intense efforts over the recent years in care for the environment and this has finally paid off. In the environmental sector, significant improvements have been made in areas such as air quality, biodiversity and less destruction of the natural environment.
5. Sweden hopes to be completely free of fossil fuels by 2040 and serious progress has already been made towards achieving this goal. The Swedish government places great importance on maintaining a clean environment by increasing green space. This country has clean air and water, thousands of acres of preserved forests and magnificent lakes.
6. United Kingdom wishes to abandon coal completely by 2025. It’s also trying to end the sale of new gas and diesel cars by the end of 2040 as well as halve the effects of air pollution by 2030.
7. Luxembourg has introduced an environmental tax known as the Kyoto cent, a fuel sales charge directed straight to Luxembourg’s climate funds. This country also reduces its notorious level of congestion (and resulting carbon emissions) by providing free public transport across the country.
8. Austria is known for its beautiful mountains and strict environmental standards. This rich country has vast, dense green areas. Two thirds of Austrian territory are covered by meadows and forests.
9. Ireland, known as „The Emerald Isle“ is a magnificent green country and one of the cleanest places on the planet. As a nation, Irish people are fully aware that emerald landscapes are their main tourist attraction and maintaining a clean, natural environment is important for the future of the entire country.
10. Finland has strict environmental regulations, invests in renewable energy, promotes electric cars and fights for the protection of the natural environment. This country is known for its excellent air quality, thick forests and incredibly beautiful natural landscapes.
In the age of global warming, these are the countries that make the most effort to protect the environment. It is time for the whole world to start following their example. These are not unachievable results or high goals but the result of the effort of people who have realized we have to make some great changes in order to save the humanity. This is a necessity, a call to action.