Climatic change and how it impacts the environment have truly become a global concern in the present time. With the rising global temperature, the unpredicted climatic change has been predicted to become more intense with time, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change with 1300 scientists from the U.S. and around the world.

How are countries fighting Environmental Issues? - Sheet1
Environment challenges_©imperial.ac.uk

The Scope of the impact of climate change is extremely difficult to overstate. Everything from the Ecosystem, agriculture, wildlife and human health has been affected on a global scale. The effect has already been witnessed worldwide. A global problem needs a global solution and when it’s about protecting the environment for our future generations, some countries seem to be doing more than others. The Yale University 2018 Environmental Performance Index and the World Bank created an index to measure environmental Performance by countries which helps measure the index range in scope and includes air quality, biodiversity, water quality, wastewater treatment, carbon emission and proactive environmental policies. It is extremely important to keep note that the high-ranking countries on the list are not necessarily exemplary at resource management and per capita waste. Let’s see what the top 8 highly ranked countries are talking about initiatives on their environmental issues.

  1. Bulgaria
How are countries fighting Environmental Issues? - Sheet2
Bugaria giving up coal_©dw.com
  • Population exposed to unsafe air pollution: 99.9%
  • Area with government protection: 28.3%
  • Per capita GDP: $18,606

Joining the European Union in 2007, Bulgaria made a significant stride toward developing an environmentally sustainable economy by EU directives, including working towards the goal to reach 16% of renewable energy by 2020. The results are already evident. The presence of dangerous PM2.5 in the air declined by 43.3% in this country from 1990 to 2016.

The Bulgarian government also protects more of its land. Over 28% of the country’s lands are reserved with limited public access like national parks, protected landscapes, wildlife sanctuaries and areas for sustainable use.

  1. The United States

How are countries fighting Environmental Issues? - Sheet3Protected wildlife_©esri.com

  • Population exposed to unsafe air pollution: 3.3%
  • Area with government protection: 26.3%
  • Per capita GDP: $54,471

Over a quarter of the U.S. territory is protected and is limited with public access like wildlife sanctuaries, wildlife, national parks and areas for sustainable use, it is a larger share than most countries. Additionally, only 3.3% of the population in the U.S. is exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution.

  1. Canada
How are countries fighting Environmental Issues? - Sheet4
Sustainable transport_©umweltbundesamt.de
  • Population exposed to unsafe air pollution: 0%
  • Area with government protection: 6.5%
  • Per capita GDP: $44,018

Environmental achievements include supporting climate-friendly technology leading to energy efficiency, sustainable urban transportation, renewable energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing biodiversity planning and protection for sea and land. Challenges include rapid warming in the frozen north, the impact of air pollution on vegetation, wildlife, water, soil and acid rain.

  1. Australia
How are countries fighting Environmental Issues? - Sheet5
plastic bags ban_©mymodernmet.com
  • Population exposed to unsafe air pollution: 24.9%
  • Area with government protection: 29.7%
  • Per capita GDP: $44,643

Australia has become the second highest percentage of protected marine areas and landscapes. The country has been cited for its environmental achievements, including a plastic bags ban, to reduce food waste and the construction of the world’s largest lithium battery to store wind energy more efficiently.

  1. New Zealand
How are countries fighting Environmental Issues? - Sheet6
reduction of greenhouse emission_mymodernmet.com
  • Population exposed to unsafe air pollution: 0%
  • Area with government protection: 30.5%
  • Per capita GDP: $36,013

One-third of the marine and terrestrial area is protected in New Zealand. It has the highest share among the top 15 countries doing their most to protect the environment. New Zealand met its target for reducing greenhouse emissions set under the first Kyoto Protocol and has additional reduction goals for 2020, 2030 and 2050. The WWF notes that deforestation, destruction of wildlife and soil erosion continues to be problem.

  1. Norway
How are countries fighting Environmental Issues? - Sheet7
carbon neutrality_©kubota.com
  • Population exposed to unsafe air pollution: 2%
  • Area with government protection: 5.1%
  • Per capita GDP: $64,965

Norway’s power system is practically 100% renewable. Nevertheless, the northern nation has somewhat higher per capita greenhouse emissions than other countries in Europe and Asia. Carbon Neutrality by 2050 is another goal Norway seems to peruse.

  1. Finland
How are countries fighting Environmental Issues? - Sheet8
promoting renewable energy_©nrdc.org
  • Population exposed to unsafe air pollution: 0%
  • Area with government protection: 14.2%
  • Per capita GDP: $41,018

Finland is known as one of the most environmentally friendly countries. Has 0% of its population been exposed to unsafe levels of fine particles in the air pollution, according to the World Health Organization? Finland has the wherewithal to support the green policies, aiming to anticipate the risk and prevent any sort of damage done. Ongoing environmental goals include reducing per capita greenhouse gases and significantly increasing the use of renewable energy, protecting farmland habitats and forests.

  1. Denmark
no more fossil fuel_youtube.com
  • Population exposed to unsafe air pollution: 56.9%
  • Area with government protection: 17.9%
  • Per capita GDP: $47,270

Denmark had ranked high reportedly in 2017 and continues to make strides forward, especially in air quality. Previously 78.8% of the population was exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution. The figure has currently dropped to 56.9%. It aims to be independent of fossil fuels by 2050.

Online sources

 Usatoday.com. 2022. [online] Available at: <https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/07/14/climate-change-countries-doing-most-least-to-protect-environment/39534413/>

 [Accessed 4 September 2022].

Author

Disha is an architecture graduate from Nagpur University, 2021. Being an avid traveler, she has always tried to connect the city’s art & culture with architecture. She is a keen learner & an extremely creative individual who always seeks opportunities to enhance knowledge & experience in the field of architecture.

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