In our previous article we revealed the top 11 greenest countries in the world where we counted down the top ranked eco-friendly countries based on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) uses 25 total performance indicators that are used in generating the rankings which span 163 countries around the globe. Iceland took the prize with an impressive EPI score of 93.5 over 3 points higher than the #2 greenest country, Switzerland. We will uncover what made Iceland standout and how they achieved the top spot.
In case you were not aware, Iceland is an island country in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, northwest of England. The name can fool you since the climate consists of mild, windy winters and cool summers. Iceland, the greenest country in the world, is well known for their renewable energy program that supplies nearly every resident with clean electricity and hot water. Many argue that Iceland’s renewable energy programs were inspired by economics rather than environmental concerns, though the EPI index does not take that into consideration. Interestingly, Iceland is also among the happiest nations in the world, according to a report by IceNews. Based on an international poll by Capacent Gallup, 73 percent of Icelanders are satisfied with their lives. There have been no known correlations between being the most eco-friendly place on the planet and once of the happiest, however it is a intriguing coincidence.
No country is perfect when it comes to going green, there will always be trade-offs that occur for economic gains or convenience factors. Even the United States came in a dismal 61st with a score of 63.5%, showing American’s have a long way to go to catch up to the neighbors across the pond. We will watch to see if Iceland maintains its dominance in the next rankings as it focuses on cleaning up air pollution and wastewater from agriculture. Regardless we applaud Iceland and its happy people for making the world a cleaner place to live.
Image: Greg Neate