Countries Doing the Most and Least to Protect the Environment

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No other issue other than climate change is a truly global concern. Global temperatures are projected to rise between 2.5-10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of over 1,300 scientists from the U.S. and around the world. The impacts of climate change are already being felt and will likely only intensify over time.

The scope of the impact of climate change is difficult to overstate. Everything from wildlife, ecosystems, agriculture, and human health will all be affected on a global scale. Already the effect is felt worldwide. A global problem requires a global solution, and when it comes to protecting the environment for future generations, some countries are doing more than others.

24/7 Wall St. created an index to measure environmental performance by country using data from Yale University’s 2018 Environmental Performance Index and the World Bank’s “What a Waste Database.” The measures that comprise this index range in scope and include air quality, water quality, biodiversity, wastewater treatment, carbon emissions, and proactive environmental policies.

It is important to note that the high ranking countries on this list are not necessarily exemplary at resource management and per capita waste. Several of the countries that rank high in certain measures of environmental stewardship are some of the same countries that produce the most waste.

Addressing environmental issues costs money, and many poorer nations lack the resources necessary to tackle even the most pressing environmental problems. In fact, many of the countries doing the least to protect the environment also rank among the 25 poorest countries in the world. Conversely, many of the countries doing the most rank among the world’s richest countries.

Click here to see the countries doing the most to protect the environment.
Click here to see the countries doing the least to protect the environment.
Click here to read our methodology.