People walking and cycling on a busy day in Denmark

Top 5 eco-friendly countries and why Denmark tops the index

We millennials have our priorities fixed. And these priorities may be a bit different from the previous generations. This generations’ priorities include low debt, a career they want to pursue, a balanced personal and professional life, environmental conciseness, and travel. Yes, travel.

This generation has a greater urge to travel the globe. To learn more and experience more with the help of travel. These people might shift their base completely due to their experience and learning in a said country or city.

But one of the primary criteria to select a location is their eco-friendly or sustainability factor. After all, who wouldn’t want clean air, clear water, greenery, and ecological diversity?

The 2020 Environmental Performance Index ranks Denmark as number 1 based on 32 indicators.

Chart for 32 indicators source EPI 2020 Report

The EPI organizes 32 indicators into 11 issue categories and two policy objectives.

The following countries (with score) top Environmental index-

  1. Denmark — 82.5
  2. Luxemburg — 82.3
  3. Switzerland — 81.5
  4. United Kingdom — 81.3
  5. France — 80.0

Overall, region-wise, Southern Asia performed the worst with an average of 32.72.

But how did Denmark top the rankings? What policies or laws do they follow, which are different from other countries?

When it comes to climate change action, Denmark leads the world and has reduced CO2 emissions by more than half since 1996. Its capital city Copenhagen cut emissions by investing in wind energy and biomass. Their expansion of bike lanes has had a major impact, so much that now there are more cycles than cars on the streets.
The city aims at becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025. The country sourced 47% of its electricity from wind power in 2019. It also plans to at least triple its offshore wind capacity by 2030.

“The legislation requires the government to set binding emission targets for each sector of the economy every five years and could serve as a model pathway for other developed nations” Extract from Climate Chapter in EPI report.

In January 2020, the Danish government passed an amendment of the Environmental Protection Act, which prohibits shops from offering free shopping bags and a complete ban on thin plastic bags. The Danes have optimistically switched to totes and other alternatives for plastic.

Denmark’s proactive actions and policies are the primary reason why they have topped in 2020 ranking. The country has been in the top 5 for the past 2 rankings (the report is published every two years). It has made remarkable progress, from ranking #13 in 2014 and #21 in 2012.

Interning with Green Canvas

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Content Writer | (A) Photographer

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