The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is a method of measuring the performance of national governments related to environmental policies. Yale University and Columbia University release the EPI every year during the World Economic Forum, ranking 163 countries according to 25 indicators. The final mark shows how close the country is to accomplish the environmental goals. Here are the top ten green countries on the list which have made most, officially the greenest in the world.
1. Iceland, 93.5
Iceland is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful countries because of the breathtaking nature, but they can still enjoy that due to the high level of accomplishing the environmental policy goals. People in Iceland use the geothermal energy very well, while the most used electricity and heat source is the hydrogen. Believe it or not, amazing 82% of the electricity and heat in Iceland comes from hydrogen and geothermal sources, while only 18% comes from coal. The first place for the greenest country is well deserved.
2. Switzerland, 89.1
Switzerland was leading the EPI list years ago, but now has fallen to the second place just due to incredible Iceland performance. However, Swiss are still working hard for creating greener society. The government has imposed a fee for disposing thrash in the country, but the people are pretty interested for ecology as well. For example, there are cities, smaller towns actually, in which using car is prohibited. That’s how Switzerland remains on the top of this list for years.
3. Costa Rica, 86.4
Costa Rica government is strongly committed to following the Icelandic example for use of renewable energy sources. They have set a goal to become carbon neutral until 2021! The land suffered deforestation for years in order to be made space for agriculture, but now one of the main goals is reforestation of the country, planting over five million trees over last five years.
4. Sweden, 86.0
One of the first things when visiting Stockholm, Sweden, is noticing the wide range of eco-friendly products. Nevertheless, the most important thing that put them so high on the EPI list is the fact that they are in advanced phase of the implementation of the plan for phasing out the fossil fuel by 2020. Swedish government also is trying hard to use the forests very well, as the sawdust of the lumber is used for generating heat. These are just some of the indicators that make Sweden on of the greenest on the world, but explaining all of them would take a lot of space.
5. Norway, 81.1
Norway already feels the consequences of the global warming, as its north parts are close to the melting Arctic, so they’re taking a lot of measure to prevent any possible catastrophic scenario. Norway government and the people as well, are making efforts to become carbon neutral until 2030, although it is an oil export oriented country. They plan to make diesel fuel more expensive than the eco fuels and stimulate people to use the second ones.
6. Mauritius, 80.6
Maybe you will be surprised of the fact that one African Prime Minister decide to make his country eco-friendly, but yes, it’s true. Although the little island has very limited resources, they do not give up. Rama Sithanen’s cabinet is trying to find many ways for reuse items through recycling. At this moment they rely on the water that surrounds the island.
7. France, 78.2
The indicators that launched France so high on the EPI list are increasing of use of eco fuels, conserving energy, increasing renewable energy rate, increasing of organic farming, etc. In order to stimulate the use of eco friendly energy sources, the government also promoted reduction of taxes for those who use solar panels. However, the most interesting measure toward accomplishing their eco goals is the use of, believe it or not, the straw bales for construction of buildings.
8. Austria, 78.1
Austria has no problems for being green so they decided to go step further. They made a deal with the government of Czech Republic for building eco friendly garden across the border between the two countries. The gardens contain herbs, fruit trees and flowers; they look amazing, though they do not use any pesticides for maintaining it. For the rest of the green country there’s no need to waste words.
9. Cuba, 78.1
Cuba has earned the same index as Austria mostly thanks to the decreasing of the use of harmful and illegal pesticides on farms. Allegedly, they try to lower the sea level in order to prevent the salt water ruin the soil. However, their most ambitious project is the use of clear hydroelectricity in the Guama area. The government makes efforts to connect all of the homes in that area to hydroelectric station and provide them all the electricity they need. Should that make success, other projects will follow.
10. Colombia, 76.8
Most news we hear for Colombia are not good, so this including on the Top 10 EPI countries is really refreshing. The government learnt the lessons and finally decided to end the deforestation and stimulated a lot of eco friendly projects. Constructors began using bamboo instead of steel; a lot of national parks have been opened in order to be saved the large number of endemic species, while the fashion designers have also tried to raise the awareness about the green issues.