Top 10 Greenest Countries in the World
How green is your native land? The 4th edition of the Global Green Economy Index, produced by private U.S.-based consultancy Dual Citizen LLC, has just been released, and you can look it up. The index provides an in-depth look at how 60 countries and 70 cities are doing in developing more environmentally friendly economies, in actual performance and in how experts perceive their performance.
"We first published the Global Green Economy Index in 2010 guided by a belief that the environment, climate change and green, low-carbon growth would rapidly become defining issues for national policy makers and the global reputation of countries," says the report's introduction. "As we went to press, 2,646 events in nearly 162 countries mobilized pressure on over 100 world leaders gathered in New York at the United Nations to take substantive and binding action on climate change. The link between these issues and the reputation of leaders and nation states is more vivid today than ever before."
The 60 countries covered are a dramatic increase from the 27 included in the last report in 2012. It assessed nations on every continent and found that the Scandinavian countries, along with Germany, were clear leaders. Sweden and Norway headed up the list of actual performance, with Costa Rica ranking third, inside the top 15 for the first time, and Germany and Denmark rounding out the top five. Poland, Senegal, Qatar, Vietnam and Mongolia bring up the rear in slots 56-60, with China just above them at 55. The U.S. came in close to the middle, ranked at 28.
Perception was very different. The study found that some countries got less credit than their green economies merited, while other countries got too much credit for making environmentally friendly moves. Austria, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal and Spain were among the European countries that the index found needed "improved green country branding," along with the African nations of Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda and Zambia, the latter four all covered in the index for the first time.
Other countries, some of the world's most developed nations, including the U.S., Japan, the Netherlands and Australia, get more credit than their lagging performance deserves. The U.S. came in sixth in perception, while Japan, ranked 44th in performance, came in seventh in perception.
On the liability side, the index revealed that some of the world's fastest growing economies aren't growing green economies. In addition to China, rapidly growing countries like Ghana, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam are also doing poorly.
Four of the ten greenest cities were, unsurprisingly, in Scandinavia, with Copenhagen in first place, Stockholm in third, Helsinki ninth and Oslo tenth. The top ten was rounded out by Amsterdam (2), Vancouver (4), London (5), Berlin (6), New York (7) and Singapore (8).
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris before deciding to reverse an earlier EPA decision to ban the company's toxic and widely used pesticide, chlorpyrifos.
According to records obtained by the Associated Press, the EPA boss met with Liveris for about 30 minutes at a Houston hotel on March 9. Later that month, Pruitt announced that he would no longer pursue a ban on chlorpyrifos from being used on food, ignoring his agency's own review that even small amounts of the pesticide could impact fetus and infant brain development.
Native communities and environmental justice advocates in Louisiana opened a new resistance camp Saturday to oppose the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline project. Called L'eau Est La Vie, or Water is Life, the camp will consist of floating indigenous art structures on rafts and constant prayer ceremonies during its first two weeks.
Continuing its march toward elimination of key Clean Water Act protections, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday issued a formal notice of withdrawal of the Obama administration's rule defining which waters can be protected against pollution and destruction under federal law.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not doing enough to prevent weed resistance to the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) says a new report from the EPA's Inspector General's Office, which draws in part on a report from the agbiotech company, Pioneer: Weed Management in the Era of Glyphosate Resistance.
When it comes to the latest wind turbine technologies, size matters. A group of six institutions and universities is designing an offshore wind turbine that will stand 500 meters in height. That's taller than the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building.
The research team, led by researchers at the University of Virginia, believes that its wind turbine concept will produce 50 megawatts of peak power, or about 10 times more powerful than conventional wind turbines.
Natural gas is often considered the cleanest fossil fuel, but could it actually be dirtier than coal?
Watch as New York Times reporter Mark Bittman, in the above Year's of Living Dangerously video, investigates how much methane is leaking at fracking wells. Find out how the natural gas industry's claims compare to what scientists are reporting.
See what happens when Gaby Petron, an atmospheric scientist with NOAA, converts her van into a mobile methane detector and sets out across northeastern Colorado for two years, taking thousands of readings to uncover the truth.
Adrian Grenier: 'We Must Usher in a New Era of Compassion Through Forward Thinking Environmental Programs'
Adrian Grenier was named UN Goodwill Ambassador earlier this month. The Hollywood actor, best known for his iconic role of A-list movie star Vincent Chase in the HBO smash hit and film Entourage, will advocate for drastically reducing single-use plastic and protection of marine species, and encourage his followers to make conscious consumer choices to reduce their environmental footprint, according to the UN Environment announcement.
"Together we must usher in a new era of compassion and carefulness through forward thinking environmental programs to drive measurable change," Grenier said. "I am personally committed to creating ways in which the global community can come together to help solve our most critical climate crises through routine, collective action.
"The more we connect to nature in our daily lives, the more dedicated we will become to our individual commitments. Together, I believe we can go further, faster in our race to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030."
Watch the video above to learn more.