10 Countries That Are Saving The World

10 Countries That Are Saving The World 10 Germany With France spearheading global climate talks, and EU countries dominating climate change rankings, Europe seems to be leading the way in saving our little planet

But one of the main countries leading Europe forward is Germany In 2017, Germany produced over a third of its energy from renewable sources That’s twice the percentage achieved by the US, and four times as much renewable energy as Germany produced just 14 years earlier In the Paris Climate talks, the nation also dedicated to a 40% greenhouse gas cut by 2020, and a 95% cut by 2050 This far exceeds the goals of the EU, and offers a shining example to other members

Doubts have been raised over whether Germany will achieve its ambitious goals in time, but as of 2017 they’ve already achieved an almost 30% cut in emissions, comfortably surpassing the EU’s goals of a 20% reduction by 2020 9 Ethiopia In 2000, Ethiopia was the third poorest country in the world, and the second-most populated African country, with over half of its inhabitants under the global poverty line Now, Ethiopia has the third fasting-growing economy on the planet, and it’s population continues to grow Typically, this kind of growth will coincide with a correlating increase in carbon emission

But as of 2017, the country still produces just 03% of the worlds CO2 Also, having established Africa’s first Climate change program in 2011, the country joined Paris Climate talks as a leader for other developing countries In fact, they’ve committed to reduce current levels of emission by 5 megatons by 2030 This would represent a 64% drop compared to current projections, despite predictions that their economy will double in that time

Oxfam’s climate change policy adviser even claimed that for a country contributing so little to climate change, Ethiopia’s climate plan ‘puts developed countries to shame’ 8 Portugal In 2016, the European Commission set out climate targets for members of the EU to achieve by the year 2030 Of these countries, Portugal was one of six who were already accomplishing these targets, due in part to a surge in their renewable energy production between 2007 and 2011 Having relatively few of its own fossil fuel resources, Portugal was able to limit its imports in this time, and increase renewable energy capacity by 35

3% And despite already achieving targets, Portugal continued to the point of just showing off in 2016, when it ran for for four whole days on 100% renewable energy To put this in context, the UK are reasonably high achievers in climate change policies, and we barely even achieved a whole day without power from coal They show no signs of stopping either, committing to reduce primary energy consumption 25% by 2020 7

Costa Rica Costa Rica have long been known for its bold moves in environmental protection In the 80s, the Central American nation even borrowed from the World Bank Why? So they could pay farmers to stop destroying their forests, curbing a period of mass deforestation Given that Costa Rica makes up just 03% of the world’s land mass, this may not seem important, globally speaking

But the country hosts 5% of the planet’s species biodiversity, so wildlife development is an essential aspect of the country’s aim to become carbon neutral by the year 2021 Due to economic development in the country, experts have admitted Costa Rica will likely fall short of this goal But the nation is still making significant steps to get back on track, getting an average of over 70% of their energy from renewable sources In 2017, they even broke records by running for 300 days on electricity provided entirely renewable sources 6

Luxembourg Despite its land mass ranking in the lowest quarter of all countries, Luxembourg has consistently been in the top half of the rankings when it comes to carbon emissions But in recent years, the small country has been one of the best performers in terms of curbing their greenhouse gases Between 2015 and 2016 alone, Luxembourg’s fossil fuel emissions dropped by 4%, compared to the EU as a whole, who managed just a tenth of that It’s no surprise then, that Luxembourg have the most ambitious emission goals of all UN member states They’ve set out to cut their greenhouse gas production by 20% in just five years

Outside of environmental achievements, Luxembourg’s healthcare also took the top spot in The 2017 Legatum Prosperity Index Having also earned the rank in 9 of the previous 10 years, Luxembourg are celebrated for their nationwide state healthcare and the research efforts of its medical scientists 5 Morocco Despite Morocco contributing less than a quarter of a percent towards global carbon emissions, they still get significantly affected by the effects of global warming This has lead the African nation to be one of the leaders in proactive energy policies

Currently 95% dependant on oil and gas from the Middle East, Morocco committed in 2017 to shift towards renewable energy, and cut greenhouse gas emissions 13% by 2030 This will cost them around $10 billion dollars, but if UN funds and other donors can provide an additional $35 billion, they’ve pledged to increase that number to 32% When life gave them lemons, Morocco decided to use global warming to their advantage, and after record floods and heatwaves, they repurposed adverse weather to generate solar, wind and hydro electricity Their goal is to generate at least half of its energy this way, perhaps even generating enough solar power to export it to neighbouring countries 4

Finland For the Finnish people, environmental care is a point of national pride, a commitment which dates back many years In 1923, Finland pioneered new biodiversity laws when they introduced the Nature Conservation Act This law paved the way for legislation, which has now expanded Finland’s protected areas to 9% of the whole territory The country also has its sights set forward, with ambitious energy targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement They already produce almost two thirds of their electricity from renewable and Nuclear power, but they have a legally binding commitment to provide 38% from renewable sources alone by 2020

They also aim to be a carbon neutral country by the year 2050 This has all lead Finland to rank highly on two of the leading annual studies into climate change action In 2018, the Nordic country ranked 9th and 10th respectively on the Climate Change Performance Index and the Environmental Performance Index 3 Iceland Iceland has one of the world’s best climates, and ranks among the best for air quality

Frequently landing in the top 10 of the Environmental Performance Index rankings, the European country is also in the top 40 countries for its water treatment Iceland also holds the title for creating the most renewable energy per person Although it is helped in all these categories by being the least populated European country Another cheat code Iceland uses is its 35 active volcanoes, which it uses to provide geothermal energy Unsurprisingly then, Iceland leads the world in Geothermal energy production, constituting a quarter of all its energy

The rest of Iceland’s energy comes from hydropower, having been one of the first countries in history to consistently provide 100% of its energy from renewable sources This keeps the nation’s pollution levels extremely low, with mostly short term causes, from natural sources and transport I guess no one’s perfect 2 Denmark In 2015, 30% of Denmark’s energy consumption came from sustainable sources, showing a more than 20% increase since 1991

In 2017, they broke those impressive records when they provided enough power, from wind turbines alone, to cover 434% of the country’s entire electricity consumption This has more than doubled since 2001, despite the fact there are 20% fewer turbines in the country, thanks to vastly more efficient turbines By 2020, the amount of Danish electricity provided by wind is expected to rise to 50% And, with the addition of solar power and sustainable biomass, Denmark’s total energy consumption is expected to be 80% sustainable by the same year

This has lead the World Energy Council to rate Denmark’s energy system as the world’s best for the past four years And, while 2018 policy changes saw them invest in highways over environmentally friendly electric railroads, Denmark still ranked third in the 2018 Environmental Performance Index 1 Sweden Sweden is considered a role model for countries looking to curb carbon emissions, but still grow financially In the last 25 years, the Scandinavian country has significantly grown its economy, increasing its GDP by 60%

But in spite of this, their carbon emission has still dropped by a fifth How, you ask? Well, this can largely be attributed to Sweden’s famously efficient recycling system, where, reportedly, less than one percent of household waste ends up in landfills In 2016, it was publicised that waste had to be imported into the country, just so there would be enough to match their ridiculous recycling speeds Which is just selfish, really Sweden’s environment looks set improve even further, after the country’s 2017 emission goals were revered by climate campaigners

They pledge to completely phase out greenhouse gas emissions completely by the year 2045, slightly showing up the EU’s targets for an 80-95% reduction by 2050 So that was 10 Countries That Are Saving The World Did your country make the list? Or could you homeland be doing more for the planet? Let us know in the comments and make sure to like and subscribe While you’re at it, check out the 10 Countries That are Killing the Planet, on screen now"

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