Climate changes and environmental issues make us think more about future of existence of life on our planet, and some countries are obviously taking more care of it, so here we will see the top 11 least polluted countries in the world in 2018.
Pollution is all around us, and under the term we think of many things, such as toxic chemicals, waste, plastic, air pollution, oil stains, radioactive waste, and you name it. It comes in all stages, solid, gas and liquid, but some would also add to it noise or light pollution as well, being huge problems of modern societies.
But how to measure the impact of a single country to the global state of pollution? What is the variable which is a good indicator of pollution?
Probably the air pollution is one of the most obvious of those, at least concerning humans at the moment. That is because the rising industries and economies, such as China, for example, being among the top 10 countries with worst air pollution in the world, depend on heavy industries witch are the largest producers of CO2. On the contrary, there is Sri Lanka or Singapore, being the least polluted countries in Asia. So, on the matter of air pollution and clean air, we can recommend you to go through the 15 Countries with the Cleanest Air in the World in 2018.
Apart from China, among the other most polluted countries in the world are Pakistan, Qatar, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Apart from having alarming rates of air pollutants, and other pollutants in general, governments of these countries do not seem to have much interest in environmental issues, some of them having other issues waiting to be resolved – poverty, war, etc.
We should not neglect the other kinds of pollution having the air pollution the first on the mind. Water pollution, as we have mentioned, is one of the others. Since nothing in nature occurs as a sole event, that is how water pollution is related with other kinds of pollution, for example, chemicals and pesticides used in agriculture rinse directly to the underground waters or nearby streams, which then come back as rain when all that water evaporates. Apart from this, solid waste and sewage and industrial waste discharge are also heavy pollutants. A report of Ocean Healing Index organization notices that wealthier stable countries and regions with stable governance tend to have higher scores that impact the global ocean health, meaning that they care more about their waters. Is the country’s political and economic state an important factor for a country to be among least polluted countries in the world? Apparently yes, as we will see further down on our list.
We will mention now just one more important pollution source — the agriculture. Development of pesticides and chemicals has shown as a good thing at the beginning, but after years and decades of their use we, now see devastating consequences in our environment. And after long-term use, the chemicals seem to have the counter effect on soil making it infertile for example. Some countries are working hard on reducing the use of chemicals and improving greener agriculture, and it seems that on long distances this hard effort pays-off nicely.
Our main resource to find out which the least polluted countries in the world was a research conducted by the Yale University on environmental impacts of countries. The data they have gathered encompasses many indicators: air quality, air pollution, water, heavy metals, water resources, agriculture, forests, etc. The final score, the EPI rank (Environmental Performance Index), represents ranking of countries with all these issues taken into account and divided into categories: EPI, environmental health, and the ecosystem vitality. Just for the additional information on these countries, we have added two more data which concern CO2 emission and the air pollution since those are the issues that the public is mostly concerned about. The data for the air pollution comes from the Worldbank for the CO2 emissions, and the World Health Organization for the concentration of fine particulate matter in the air (PM2.5).
So, the highest the EPI the cleaner the country. The highest (theoretical) value for the EPI is 100 while CO2 emissions are expressed in metric tons per capita. And in the end, the PM2.5 represents the mean concentration of concentration of particles in the air of less than 2.5 microns as a measure of air pollution. Both CO2 emissions and PM2.5 values come form 2014 as the most recent data, while EPI is the current statistics for 2018.
Having set the parameters, let’s see which the greenest the least polluted countries in the world in 2018 are.
CO2 emission: 6.06
Since Iceland is sparsely inhabited, air pollution caused by traffic, as one of the greatest pollutants of urban areas is at a minimum. That’s why this is one of the countries with cleanest air. But in Reykjavik situation is different than in the rest of the country. One of the problems here is – high traffic and no winds to regulate the air flow. On the matter of the environmental conservation, Iceland is doing much about it, protecting unique wilderness sites, developing renewable energy technologies and having among of the cleanest waters in the world.
Up next on our list we have top ten least polluted countries in the world in 2018.