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What is the greenest country in the world?

What is the greenest country in the world?

The greenest country in the world is Denmark according to the latest data analysis from the 2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI)

The Environmental Performance Index evaluates and ranks 180 countries on 32 performance indicators across 11 categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.

The aim is to gauge, at a national scale, how close countries are to meeting the environmental policy goals outlined in the United Nations 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Now in its 22nd year, the EPI report has become the world’s premier framework for global environmental policy analysis. The report is compiled every two years using the following categories to create an EPI score out of 100 for every nation.

  1. Climate Change
  2. Air Quality
  3. Sanitation & Drinking Water
  4. Biodiversity & Habitat
  5. Ecosystem Services
  6. Fisheries
  7. Water Resources
  8. Pollution Emissions
  9. Agriculture
  10. Heavy Metals
  11. Waste Management

Top ten greenest countries

  1. Denmark
  2. Luxembourg
  3. Switzerland
  4. UK
  5. France
  6. Austria
  7. Finland
  8. Sweden
  9. Norway
  10. Germany

Key headlines

  • Denmark is the greenest country in the world with an EPI score of 82.5.
  • Denmark excelled in almost every indicator of environmental health due to its long history of making significant commitments to improving air quality, advanced sanitation and safe drinking water.
  • Denmark also leads the world in its breadth and depth of programs combating climate change, including a recently announced target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 70% before 2030.
  • In 24th position, the USA is one of the lowest-ranked industrialised nations, behind the UK (4th), France (5th), Germany (10th), Japan (12th), Canada (20th) and Italy (22nd).
  • India, with distinctly poor health results from air quality and additional environmental risks, performs poorly in 169th place.
  • China continues to be plagued by poor air quality, although recent pollution control measures and environmental policy investment have helped it rise to 120th place.
  • The report demonstrates that hundreds of millions of people continue to suffer from dangerous levels of air pollution, most notably in Pakistan, India and Nepal
  • The effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic were too recent to be captured in the 2020 EPI report.

The greenest country in the world

The state of the world is captured in the Global Scorecard, a score and ranking of 180 countries based on their environmental performance.

Map of the greenest countries in the world
Denmark the greenest country in the world

There is a clear correlation between unstable governance and poor EPI performance. The index’s bottom third comprises predominantly African and south- and east-Asian states whose problems extend beyond their inability to sustain environmental and human health.

It is also clear that only functioning governments are able to manage their environments for the benefit of their populations.

Finally, it is evident that strong results are connected to wealth (GDP per capita). Economic prosperity enables governments to invest in programs and policies that lead to better environmental outcomes.

Rank Country EPI Score
1 Denmark 82.5
2 Luxembourg 82.3
3 Switzerland 81.5
4 UK 81.3
5 France 80.0
6 Austria 79.6
7 Finland 78.9
8 Sweden 78.7
9 Norway 77.7
10 Germany 77.2
11 Netherlands 75.3
12 Japan 75.1
13 Australia 74.9
14 Spain 74.3
15 Belgium 73.3
16 Ireland 72.8
17 Iceland 72.3
18 Slovenia 72.0
19 New Zealand 71.3
20 Canada 71.0
21 Czech Rep. 71.0
22 Italy 71.0
23 Malta 70.7
24 USA 69.3
25 Greece 69.1
26 Slovakia 68.3
27 Portugal 67
28 South Korea 66.5
29 Israel 65.8
30 Estonia 65.3
31 Cyprus 64.8
32 Romania 64.7
33 Hungary 63.7
34 Croatia 63.1
35 Lithuania 62.9
36 Latvia 61.6
37 Poland 60.9
38 Seychelles 58.2
39 Singapore 58.1
40 Taiwan 57.2
41 Bulgaria 57.0
42 UAE 55.6
43 North Macedonia 55.4
44 Chile 55.3
45 Serbia 55.2
46 Brunei Darussalam 54.8
47 Kuwait 53.6
48 Jordan 53.4
49 Belarus 53.0
50 Colombia 52.9
51 Mexico 52.6
52 Costa Rica 52.5
53 Armenia 52.3
54 Argentina 52.2
55 Brazil 51.2
56 Bahrain 51.0
57 Ecuador 51.0
58 Russia 50.5
59 Venezuela 50.3
60 Ukraine 49.5
61 Uruguay 49.1
62 Albania 49.0
63 Antigua & Barbuda 48.5
64 Cuba 48.4
65 St. Vincent & the Gren. 48.4
66 Jamaica 48.2
67 Iran 48.0
68 Malaysia 47.9
69 Trinidad & Tobago 47.5
70 Panama 47.3
71 Tunisia 46.7
72 Azerbaijan 46.5
73 Paraguay 46.4
74 Dominican Rep. 46.3
75 Montenegro 46.3
76 Gabon 45.8
77 Barbados 45.6
78 Bosnia & Herzegovina 45.4
79 Lebanon 45.4
80 Thailand 45.4
81 Suriname 45.2
82 Mauritius 45.1
83 Tonga 45.1
84 Algeria 44.8
85 Kazakhstan 44.7
86 Dominica 44.6
87 Moldova 44.4
88 Bolivia 44.3
89 Uzbekistan 44.3
90 Peru 44.0
91 Saudi Arabia 44.0
92 Turkmenistan 43.9
93 Bahamas 43.5
94 Egypt 43.3
95 Grenada 43.1
96 St. Lucia 43.1
97 El Salvador 43.1
98 South Africa 43.1
99 Turkey 42.6
100 Morocco 42.3
101 Belize 41.9
102 Georgia 41.3
103 Botswana 40.4
104 Namibia 40.2
105 Kyrgyzstan 39.8
106 Iraq 39.5
107 Bhutan 39.3
108 Nicaragua 39.2
109 Sri Lanka 39.0
110 Oman 38.5
111 Philippines 38.4
112 Burkina Faso 38.3
113 Malawi 38.3
114 Tajikistan 38.2
115 Equatorial Guinea 38.1
116 Honduras 37.8
117 Indonesia 37.8
118 Kiribati 37.7
119 Sao Tome & Principe 37.6
120 China 37.3
121 Samoa 37.3
122 Qatar 37.1
123 Zimbabwe 37.0
124 Central African Rep. 36.9
125 Dem. Rep. Congo 36.4
126 Guyana 35.9
127 Maldives 35.6
128 Uganda 35.6
129 Timor-Leste 35.3
130 Laos 34.8
131 Sudan 34.8
132 Kenya 34.7
133 Zambia 34.7
134 Ethiopia 34.4
135 Fiji 34.4
136 Mozambique 33.9
137 Rwanda 33.8
138 Eswatini 33.8
139 Cameroon 33.6
140 Cambodia 33.6
141 Viet Nam 33.4
142 Pakistan 33.1
143 Micronesia 33.0
144 Cabo Verde 32.8
145 Nepal 32.7
146 Papua New Guinea 32.4
147 Mongolia 32.2
148 Comoros 32.1
149 Guatemala 31.8
150 Tanzania 31.1
151 Nigeria 31.0
152 Rep. of Congo 30.8
153 Marshall Islands 30.8
154 Niger 30.8
155 Senegal 30.7
156 Eritrea 30.4
157 Benin 30.0
158 Angola 29.7
159 Togo 29.5
160 Mali 29.4
161 Guinea-Bissau 29.1
162 Bangladesh 29.0
163 Vanuatu 28.9
164 Djibouti 28.1
165 Lesotho 28
166 Gambia 27.9
167 Mauritania 27.7
168 Ghana 27.6
169 India 27.6
170 Burundi 27.0
171 Haiti 27.0
172 Solomon Islands 26.7
173 Chad 26.7
174 Madagascar 26.5
175 Guinea 26.4
176 Cote d’Ivoire 25.8
177 Sierra Leone 25.7
178 Afghanistan 25.5
179 Myanmar 25.1
180 Liberia 22.6

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