The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is a reliable way to check whether a country is clean or not. The index was developed jointly by Columbia University and Yale University. EPI considers numerous factors that are directly linked to the environments, including water sanitation and air pollution. The index then combines these factors and comes up with a number to mark a country’s environmental state. Half of the variables have to do with environmental health while the other half pertains ecosystem vitality.
Below are the nine cleanest countries on Earth based on the latest EPI data.
List of Cleanest Countries in the World
With an EPI score of 90.68, Finland is the cleanest country in the world. No wonder it’s considered among the best countries to settle in. The country has excellent air quality as a result of minimal air pollution. Besides, it has embraced environment-friendly energy sources. The Finnish are not likely to fall in as a result of environmental risks thanks to the Nordic country’s cleanliness level. However, the country has to contend with the challenge of logging, which has taken a toll on its forests.
Iceland has a 90.51 EPI score, making it the second cleanest country in the world. It too has excellent air quality. The country has in place strict policies on smoking, especially in public places. The government, in 2007, banned smoking in restaurants and bars. Here, it is not common to see someone smoking and walking around outside. This has translated to negligible air pollution and almost no cigarette butts on the country’s streets. However, the country is not endowed with forests as it has less than two percent forest cover.
Sweden is yet another Nordic country that ranks highly in terms of cleanliness. It has an overall EPI score of 90.43. Many people may want to argue that the country should be the first on this list. Sweden is among the most beautiful places in the world. It has garbage-free streets, sanitary facilities everywhere, and minimal air pollution.
Sweden has in place policies that encourage trash recycling and is often referred to as a master at recycling. Sweden’s recycling prowess has seen it import solid waste from its neighbors and beyond to keep the country’s effective recycling system running. Naturally, Sweden is also an expert at exploiting clean and renewable sources of energy.
Denmark is the fourth cleanest country in the world with an EPI score of 89.21. It is the only Nordic country with an EPI score below 90. With the first four positions on this list occupied by Nordic countries, it is so easy to think that this article is about the cleanest Nordic countries. This shows that Nordic countries are well up there in terms of cleanliness. Back to Denmark, the country emphasizes more on renewable energy sources than traditional ones.
Slovenia is sandwiched by Croatia, Hungary, Austria and Italy. It is the fifth cleanest country in the world with an EPI score of 88.98. The gorgeous country is known for its breath-taking mountain landscapes. Besides the mountains, Slovenia has many other impressive things. The country is generally a picture of sanitation and cleanliness. Slovenia’s cities and towns are well-kept, and tourists are happy walking around in the country’s streets. Slovenia is often counted among the most unheralded countries in Europe. Also, the country’s geographical structure has seen it rank highly in terms of forests, habitat, and biodiversity.
Spain ranks among the most beautiful countries on Earth. It is ranked the sixth cleanest country on the planet with an EPI score of 88.91. However, tourists are often advised to keep off big cities such as Madrid if they want to experience the beauty of Spain. While the country is considered among the cleanest countries on Earth, big cities are not the best samples.
Spain has in the past had numerous challenges with air pollution. However, in recent years, the Spanish government has managed to reduce air pollution levels significantly. Moreover, the government has expressed its commitment to institute climate change policies as well as ensure clean water and clean energy resources nationwide.
Portugal is the seventh cleanest country on the planet with an 88.63 EPI score. It is a coincidence that in addition to Portugal and Spain being neighbours, they are next to each other on this list. Of the two countries, the former’s air quality is better than the latter’s. Also, Portugal’s system for renewable energy utilization is superior to Spain’s. Portugal’s Moura Photovoltaic Power Station ranks among the world’s largest solar power plants. In addition, Agucadoura Wave Farm has placed Portugal on the global map as the planet’s first country to have a commercial wave power farm. The country’s utilization of wind power has been impressive. No wonder there is never any electricity problem in Portugal.
Estonia ranks eighth among the cleanest countries on the planet with an EPI score of 88.59. It is among the least populated countries in Europe with a population of 1.3 million. The country is well-developed with an excellent education and healthcare system. Although the country relies heavily on oil shale to generate electricity, it is considered among the cleanest countries on the planet. Owing to the country’s abundant oil shale, the government has not invested much in clean and renewable sources of energy. Estonia scores highly in terms of street-level cleanliness, with most places free of solid waste. Undoubtedly, its low population plays a significant role here.
Malta is a small yet densely populated country with a population of 450,000. It is a popular tourist destination in Europe, owing to its pristine beaches. In recent years, the Maltese government has embarked on conserving the environment. These efforts have seen Malta rank the ninth cleanest country in the world with an 88.48 EPI score. Although it is not exactly spotless most of Malta’s locations have good air quality and are well-kept. Besides, the country ranks high in matters to do with clean water.
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