The fight for ecology: rating of the cleanest countries of the world
Trash and dirt is an indicator of the lack of effective ecological policy of the state. Developed countries are carefully monitored to ensure that cities are clean and garbage is recycled at special facilities. Enterprises were transferred to developing countries, the local plants are necessarily equipped with protective filters.
International organizations annually monitor the states of the planet to identify the level of pollution of soil, water and air. Let’s talk about how the final score is calculated, consider the countries with the cleanest ecology in the world.
What is the “Environmental Performance Index”?
The Environmental Performance Index is an environmental performance index that was developed by scientists at two American universities:
- Yale (Center for Law and Environmental Policy);
The first analysis was done for the World Economic Forum. The main direction of the study is the study of economic processes. Environmental security implies allocation of significant funds to control the level of pollution, competent use of natural resources. The final report is published by many rating publications, including Forbes magazine. Information is also available on the expert group’s official website.
Global map of environmental performance for 2019
The first global analysis was done in 2006, and the research methodology has changed over time. Each country, having received the result, can compare data according to the factors, assess their own successes and compare failures with neighboring countries.
At the end of 2018, the latest result of the “Cleanest Country in the World” ranking was published. There are 180 states on the list.
Evaluation factors in the ranking
This global study is conducted according to a special methodology. The score is put on the basis of conclusions made on 10 categories of research:
- environmental health of the population;
- state of the air;
- climate change;
- state of water resources;
- forest (condition, change in area);
- impact of polluted air on public health;
- access and quality of drinking water;
- care of biodiversity;
- exploitation of fish resources.
The country is scored on two groups of criteria: ecosystem vitality and ecological health.
A total of 22 indicators are examined, and an index is calculated proportionally for each. The higher the final score, the better the government takes care of its citizens and the environment.
Here is an example of the calculation. When assessing the environmental health of the population, data on child mortality is requested. This parameter is one of the five included in the “Environmental Health” group.) The total score in it will give 30% of the final rating. The second group is called “Ecosystem Vitality” and contains seventeen other parameters. It affects 70% of the score.
The cleanest countries in Europe
Europe is a demonstrative region, where large funds are allocated for environmental safety, much is done for public health. Nevertheless, the problems in this area are marked here as well. We present the table of the most environmentally friendly European countries.
The first lines of the rating are occupied by the countries of Western and Northern Europe. In the East, environmental problems are considered less important.
The main environmental problems in Russia are air and inland water pollution and deforestation.
The Russian Federation is not the leader of the list, it got 52 place with the index of 63.79.
Which country has the cleanest air?
Residents of industrial cities breathe in air with hazardous particles on a daily basis, which negatively affects public health. The main causes of air pollution are:
- Increasing number of cars and lack of environmentally friendly electricity-powered transportation in cities;
- emissions from industrial enterprises;
- Lack of control by supervisory authorities.
Let’s take a closer look at the findings of the Center for Environmental Policy and Law at Yale University and find out which country has the cleanest air.
Barbados is one of the countries with the cleanest air in 2019
The comprehensive study consists of indicators. One of them is air quality. The top five states where you can breathe freely and easily include countries (the air quality indicator score is shown in parentheses):
- Australia and Barbados (100.00 each);
- Jordan (99.61);
- Canada (99.28);
- Denmark (99.16);
- Finland (99.00).
Atmospheric pollution in these countries is minimal. The first line of the top in this category is taken by two states at once, Barbados and Australia. However, in addition to clean air, other categories are also subject to study. Let’s find out which country is the cleanest in the world.
Top 10 states with the best environment
Only economically rich and developed countries can afford to carry out a policy of environmental safety at the highest level. Listed below are the territories in the top 10 cleanest countries in the world for 2019.
It is noteworthy that Switzerland, a country of Alpine meadows and mountains, ranks only 25th on the list in terms of air quality, but it is ahead of all the countries in the world in terms of the overall index. It is the cleanest country for 2019.
Switzerland is the cleanest country
The vitality of Switzerland’s ecosystem is at a high level: agriculture does not burden the soil, forests remain intact, fishing and hunting are strictly controlled by the government. Attention is paid to the health of the population, the infant mortality rate has dropped by 2.6% compared to the previous year.
France occupies the second place in the rating with a score of 83.95 out of 100. The researchers evaluated the Republic’s contribution to the preservation of ecosystems of seas and oceans, including the waters of the world’s oceans. In terms of air quality the country ranks 4th in the world.
France has an effective environmental policy
France is limited in the amount of natural clean water, the development of energy has a negative impact on air emissions, pollution. The government strictly controls the industry, trying to avoid the consequences.
Danish cities are free of garbage. In terms of air quality, the country is on the 5th line of the study. Metalworking, radio electronic engineering, chemical industry are developed in Denmark. The harmful emissions are compensated by the developed system of ecological public transport in cities. Citizens everywhere use bicycles.
Copenhagen is the most bicycle capital of Europe.
Denmark is the most expensive country in Europe. It has high taxes and prices. Industrial production is gradually moving to the western part of the country, making life easier for the inhabitants of the capital.
The population of Malta does not exceed 500 thousand people. The small territory, located between Europe and Africa, suffers from an influx of migrants. Nevertheless, the government continues to pursue an effective policy to protect the environment.
Malta has no developed industry
There is no industry on the islands, the main income comes from tourism. Holidaymakers say the high quality of service, cleanliness, development of communications and return to Malta again. Drinking water is better than anywhere else in the world.
Protecting the environment is an important task for the government of the developed industrial kingdom. Over the past 10 years, the number of enterprises in the field of information technology has increased. The life of Swedish cities is measured, quiet, clean streets.
Sweden is gradually switching to alternative energy sources
In the advanced countries of Europe for the transport system is characterized by search of friendly approaches to nature. Biofuels are preferred. In Sweden they are made from garbage. Electric cars are in demand, replacing gasoline-powered cars.
The densely populated U.K. is challenged by pollution. This requires considerable effort from the authorities to fight for clean air and water. Drinking water for the public is of the highest quality standard.
Water-powered wind turbines produce a third of Britain’s electricity consumption
The UK has difficulties with forestry, there is a lack of control over fishing. The impact of electricity generation processes on air quality has been noted.
Luxembourg is landlocked and is not concerned with water security. In 2018, the country worsened its position in the ranking. Experiencing a lack of forests, air quality has decreased significantly. The high position in the cleanliness ranking of the state is due to the fact that the basis of the economy is the service sector.
The basis of Luxembourg’s economy – the service sector
Luxembourg has a well-developed banking network, offices of major companies are located here. Oil and gas are imported.
In Austria, the chemical, textile and petroleum industries are well developed. Conservation issues are handled by 9 federal states, depending on the situation in each state. Arable land, the development sector, and highways occupy no more than 15% of the territory of Austria. The problem is the thinning of forest resources in the foothills of the Alps.
Ecology is one of the leading policies in Austria.
The state controls the arable land and meadows given over to livestock farms. It is not possible to expand without the approval of the commission.
Ireland’s problems are pollution of coastal waters and lack of forests. The state produces medical equipment, medicines, computers and accessories, and engineering. Livestock breeding is highly developed.
Irish Government controls fishing.
The government controls catching of trout, salmon; you cannot go in without license. In order to solve the problem of poaching and marine pollution, a fisheries management program was adopted.
The state is in the top five countries with high quality air and drinking water. The authorities have an effective policy of environmental safety and monitoring in cities has shown that heavy metal levels in the atmosphere are minimal.
Finland cares about preserving the population of wild animals
Finland is an industrialized country, ranking 1st in the world in paper production. 8% of the land is occupied by agricultural activities. There is a well-developed streetcar network in the city center, which is good for the environment. The main problem is the lack of forests.
Where on Earth is the cleanest air?
We are all well aware of the strong urban air pollution and from time to time we go out of town or at least to the park. Relative to stuffy rooms, the air in parks and villages is very fresh, but you can’t call it clean. In parks, there are a lot of people walking around, whose clothes emit microscopic particles of perfume, and cigarettes emit hazardous substances for health. Even in the villages you won’t find clean air, because agricultural machinery runs everywhere, and cars are not uncommon there. But is there any place on our planet with truly clean air, without any exhaust fumes and other man-made substances? American scientists are sure that there is – they even showed us where it is.
There is clean air on our planet, but it’s far away
The freshest air
Scientists have quite logically assumed that the cleanest and freshest air in the world must be where there are no people. So over the U.S., Russia and other countries to look for a breath of freshness and purity is definitely not worth it – the air is so polluted that scientists do not know how to clean it at all. And over the so-called Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica and is a combination of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, clean air may well be sought. Why? It’s all water and, barring the occasional passing aircraft and passing ships, there are no air pollutants.
The Southern Ocean on the map
The crew of the research vessel SOCRATES checked this assumption. The researchers traveled from the Australian island of Tasmania to the glaciers of Antarctica and took air samples from time to time. They were mainly interested in what bacteria it contained. If the air in the proposed area was really clean, then the bacteria would be exclusively “marine,” that is, they would get into the air straight out of the water. But if scientists found bacteria of an outside origin in the air, that would mean that they got there from densely populated areas of our planet. From this, scientists could conclude that the vicinity of Antarctica is not well insulated from the rest of the world and there is no place on our planet with clean air.
Did you know that there are huge amounts of pollutants in our homes and airing them out doesn’t help get rid of them at all?
Fortunately, the air over the Southern Ocean did turn out to be clean. After studying the bacteria collected from the air, scientists concluded that they were of aquatic origin. As a result, they concluded that there were no air pollutants around Antarctica. They are confident in the purity of the work done, because they treated the samples “like jewels” and conducted research in laboratories – so they were able to prevent air samples from being contaminated.
This is about the kind of beauty you can see in the place with the cleanest air on the planet
From now on, we can assume that the cleanest air in the world is located in the vicinity of the Southern Ocean. Only to be more convincing, scientists should check exactly what substances are contained in the air – this is very valuable and interesting information. For example, it would be good to know how high is the concentration of ozone, which is the main enemy of human intestinal bacteria. In cities, the concentration of this gas is very high and it destroys 128 types of bacteria necessary for our body to function properly.
In one of my articles I wrote that dirty air leads to obesity – this is exactly related to the above mentioned facts.
Having said all this, I willingly believe that there are no 2.5-micrometer dust particles near Antarctica, which are scientifically referred to as PM2.5. They mostly get into the air due to the movement of cars and are components of asphalt and exhaust fumes – there is little machinery in the ocean, so there are virtually no sources of PM2.5. Their tiny size allows them to settle in the lungs and even penetrate the circulatory system to spread throughout the human organs. In the long run, these tiny particles cause people to develop serious diseases and stunt growth in children.
Comparison of PM2.5 particle diameter with the thickness of a human hair
So, one of the “freshest” places on Earth has been found. Now we just hope that no rich person will think to go to these places to breathe clean air, which we in nature is almost inaccessible. For hundreds of years mankind has badly spoiled the environment and realized its mistake too late. Yes, many companies are now trying to get electricity from solar power, and car manufacturers are incorporating electric engines that do not produce exhaust fumes. But even with the best of circumstances, our planet won’t recover anytime soon.
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The coronavirus pandemic that began in 2020 may be nature’s attempt to recover from the harmful effects of humans. Many researchers report that our planet’s air is actually cleaner after many factories close. My colleague Lubov Sokovikova wrote more about this – I strongly recommend reading the material.