Eco-conscious countries to visit

Eco-conscious countries to visit

It’s not easy to work out which countries deserve a big green thumbs up but there are plenty of economic, social, and ‘sciencey’ organisations measuring where we are headed globally. They are looking at an extensive list of criteria, including zero-emission goals, green space, air quality, electric vehicles, sustainable mobility, and more. We’ve gathered their findings on the ‘greenest’ nations right now.  
 

France 

When thinking of this city of romance, dairy products and fashion (highly influenced by ‘Emily in Paris’), restraint isn’t the first word that comes to mind! France is rapidly climbing the climate change ladder with great efforts to prevent pollution and carbon emissions. Their goals for 2030, are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, increase renewable energy sources to 32%, and reduce the use of fossil fuels by 30%. They've also been implementing one of our favourite policies – refusal to throw away perfectly good but unsold food! 
 

Sweden 

Sweden has been given high marks across the board — from the Environmental Performance Index, Data analysts Heliox, The World Population Review and more! They've made huge commitments to tackle carbon emissions and it seems they’re angling for a ‘renewable energy’ badge, meaning their air quality is much higher than the UK’s. Specifically targeting the damage created by heating, they’ve been using and developing alternative methods to heat and power some of their busiest areas since the 90s. Plus, it’s doing well on the recycling and transport front too! Växjö has been coined one of Europe’s greenest cities, and tapping into trees is one of their secrets. About half of its electricity comes from trees, while its energy-efficient buildings have been constructed from timber wood.  

Norway  

Renewable energy and electricity are their forté! For many years they’ve been famous for their water-powered nation. In fact, 97% of Norway’s electricity is renewable, all because of their carefully placed hydropower plants — pretty impressive. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), hydropower is their most important source of renewable energy and will remain that way in the foreseeable future. Norway is also, as with a huge number of countries, committing to reducing carbon emissions – although it is pretty clean (as clean goes around Europe) already. 

Germany  

Germany has great scores in biodiversity – an indisputable, but often missed, part of taking care of the planet. They're also spearheading sanitation, demonstrating that they like to keep things clean! Their recent changes to policy and huge commitments to reducing greenhouse gases over the next twenty years are entwined with efforts to protect future generations. In 2021, the German Federal Constitutional Court made history by challenging the German Climate Action Law and stating it needs to do more to protect the freedoms of the youth and future generations. 
  

The Netherlands  

Picturesque postcard images of families riding bikes is perhaps not far from the truth with great bike riding initiatives put in place. Transport seems to be a theme as the Netherlands is innovating and improving its entire transport network, incorporating solar panels, prioritising electric vehicles, and building charging stations – including the world’s largest bus charging depot found at Schiphol Airport.   

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