Special Report

Countries Doing the Most and Least to Protect the Environment


To determine the most environmentally conscious countries, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Yale University’s 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The EPI scores 180 countries on environmental health and ecosystem vitality. These two areas consist of several subfactors:

Environmental Health: air quality, water quality, heavy metals, PM2.5 extendance, sanitation, lead exposure, PM2.5 exposure, drinking water, household solid fuels.

Ecosystem Vitality: biodiversity, forests, fisheries, climate & energy, air pollution, water resources, marine protected areas, tree cover loss, fish stock status, CO2 emissions total, SO2 emissions, wastewater treatment, biome protection-national, species protection index, representativeness index, species habitat index, regional marine trophic, CO2 emissions power, NO emissions, methane emissions, N2O Emissions, black carbon emissions.

A country’s place on our list was also affected by the presence of environmentally friendly policies and programs enacted (for example having laws in place that enforce solid waste regulations and having readily available waste management information for the public). This comes from the World Bank’s “What a Waste Database,” which was last updated in September 2018.

We also reviewed supplementary measures related to EPI themes — such as health impacts, air quality, water and sanitation, water resources, agriculture, forests, fisheries, biodiversity and habitat, and climate and energy — from the World Bank for 2017 or the most recent period available. Data on GDP per capita also came from the World Bank and is in current international PPP dollars for 2017.

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