In November 2019, air pollution in Delhi hit the mark so high that the government was forced to shut down schools in the area. The same thing happened in China in 2016. Air pollution in some parts of China is still so intense that the sun can barely reach the ground. The deaths due to this environmental pollution have also increased over the last few decades. Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, the situation is not as bad, but it is not great either. Lengthy road construction projects and unregulated vehicle standardization systems lead Bangladesh to the bottom of the environmental performance index list.
While China and India were shutting down educational institutions and Bangladesh was making headlines for being the 2nd most polluted cities in the world, we were curious about the least polluted countries in the world.
According to the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), here are the top 5 least polluted cities in the world.
With strict legislation against environmental pollution and highly polluting vehicles, the overall CO2 emissions in Switzerland are significantly lower than that of other countries on the list. Also, there is a societal push to use public transportation, bicycling and walking. And the implementation of strict waste management techniques allows it’s residence to manage waste in the smartest way possible. The country even provides an app to its denizens to help manage their waste.
France ranked second on the EPI list among the least polluted countries. As a developed nation, France has also taken some significant measures to reduce their chemical emissions. The French government has already issued some financial incentives for purchasing less polluting vehicles and has also issued public funding dedicated to the development of public transportation.
On the other hand, the government also encourages people to use bicycles to reduce chemical pollutants in the air. That said, in May 2017, the French government issued a National Atmospheric Pollutant Emissions Reduction Plan. This outlines France’s plans to reduce Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) by 77%, Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) by 69%, Ammonia by 16%, Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds (NMVOC) by 52%, and Fine Particles (PM2, 5) by 57% within ten years from 2020 to 2030. [Ref]
This nordic country is well known for placing great emphasis on renewable energy and cleanliness. Denmark is also one of the best-planned countries in the world. On top of that, the government of the country has made plans to be carbon neutral by 2025 through the implementation of wind power, biomass fuel, and waste incineration. Residents are also very conscious about the environment and to keep the pollution lower, a vast amount of people prefer bicycle over other forms of transport.
Denmark ranks 3rd in environmental health, 5th in Air Quality, and 15th in water and sanitation. No wonder life expectancy is higher in Denmark than most countries on this list.
Malta ranks 4th in the EPI list. That means this southern eruropean island country is one of the most livable places in the entire world. The country ranks number one in water and sanitation. The government of the country put extra effort to make all water resources clean and pure. It ranked 19th in the Air Quality Index also. That means pollutants in the air are significantly lower than in other regions of the world.
Among all the other countries, Malta becomes the first committed to ridding the ocean of plastic. These measures have made Malta one of the least polluted countries in the world.
Among Scandinavian countries, Sweden is the most desirable for living in. In 2010, the capital of Sweden had been crowned the cleanest city on the planet and was named the first European Green Capital in that same year. Sweden has already reduced its CO2 emissions by a quarter since the 1990s. The government also has plans to make the city fossil-fuel free by 2050.
Like Denmark, Sweden also promotes bicycling over owning cars to sustain a better future. Also, the effort to cut waste and for cleaner public transportation has helped Sweden to rank higher on the EPI list.
Despite having a strong economy, these least polluted countries have shown how to thrive without violating any environmental regulation and have shown how to treat the planet better. While environmental pollution is responsible for causing big problems like global warming, experts believe that by taking proper measures and implementing strict regulations over industrial waste management and vehicle standardization can help reduce the effect.
So what do you think about our list? Let us know in the comments section below.