Many countries have taken initiatives for pollution control and environmental enhancement, as a result of which they are ranked in the lists, naming them successful in preventing pollution. Their reward is a healthy environment for their people to live and work. Let us discuss nine countries with low pollution rates or air, water, light, etc. [As of 2017]
But being able to score highly on all parameters is very low for a country, which may include air and water quality, biodiversity, pesticide use, other agricultural practices, protection of the marine sector, and so on. It is possible to lose a high score. By being relaxed in the area of concern.
Some countries naturally have less pollution with large forest cover areas and lower population densities. Certain weather conditions and geographic topography in some countries are also responsible for reducing or increasing pollution.
Another aspect is that it is difficult for a developing country to enforce strict regulations on its industry. Whereas a developed country with a thriving industry can do so without fear of bankruptcy thus having better air quality.
The list below includes countries that have implemented successful environmental policies and are seeing changes in their pollution levels.
Air quality in Finland has improved due to air pollution control measures, especially in emissions generated by energy production, industry, and traffic. Most air pollutants in Finnish air are also the result of long-range or cross-border contamination by winds. Neighboring industrial zones, from wildfire emissions.
There has been a successful reduction in the acidification of land resources. Protected areas have been established to protect its biodiversity. This prevents overgrowth by domestic deer. Forests are valuable resources of Finland and have been successful in maintaining a successful timber industry as well.
Tourists are attracted by the beauty of Finland’s landscape and this is an incentive for further environmental protection. But it shows tolls on other species such as lake seals that suffer due to disturbances in their habitats.
Many polluted lakes and rivers have been cleaned, especially near industrial areas. But the solution of Finland’s inland waters and eutrophication of the Baltic sea will take time.
The cold climate of the country increases the demand for energy. Energy is produced by using fossil fuels, recycling waste materials from the wood and paper industry, and combining nuclear power. It aims to harness the renewable energy resources of wind energy, water energy, and geothermal energy.
Iceland is a heavily populated country where its land is uninhabited due to volcanic activity. Its economy is highly dependent on fisheries and seafood exports. Therefore, maintaining their marine resources is a priority. It has the cleanest water sources in the world. They are active in calls to prevent pollution and protect the oceans, particularly on the issue of persistent organic pollutants.
Iceland is the few remaining large forest areas in Europe. Their energy sources are mainly hydroelectric and geothermal which are clean and renewable. There is a need for better planning to cope with the forces brought by nature conservation and development, particularly in the tourism sector.
One area where Iceland is fighting is the loss of vegetation through wind erosion. The Icelandic Soil Conservation Service is currently targeted at re-vegetation of at least 2% of the land area.
Large-scale use of natural resources, particularly oil shale and phosphate, caused significant damage to the natural environment in Estonia when the economy was centralized under Moscow. Then the Estonian Environmental Fund was formed. Since 1991, air pollution was regulated by economic instruments such as particulate emission charges, subsidies, and non-compliance fees, in addition to direct regulations on industry and energy sectors.
And since 2015 there has been a steady decrease in the rainfall of nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter such as dust, pollen, soot in the air and sulfates, and nitrates and have reached the accepted EU levels.
Sweden is a global leader in environmental protection. It has many forest reserves and slow population growth. Due to its strong conservation movement, 9.2 percent of the forest land is protected. 47% of their energy requirements are met from renewable sources. It is the highest in the EU.
Eight different government agencies are working to achieve the targets set by the year 2020, ranging from unaffected air and lakes to conservation of endangered flora and fauna. They have strict rules that assess the impact of potentially environmentally hazardous projects on a wide range of businesses. This has led to air pollution levels, clean drinking water, and low emission of greenhouse gases. Its recycling and waste management processes are well known.
But Sweden scores low in protecting its water resources. Chief among these is the deletion of the Baltic Sea and the acidification of its lakes, the threat to native flora and fauna due to the continued industrialization and development of urban areas. But work continues to change these conditions.
Norway has a successful fishing and whaling industry which is well organized to maintain existing marine sources. They also have an oil production industry that produces high levels of CO2. It is a more difficult region to regulate because its economy is largely dependent on oil. Norway has the right score for water quality, sanitation, ozone levels, and airborne particles. Hydropower produces 90% electricity
Ocean and air currents from the east and neighboring countries make Norway a sensitive destination for air pollutants. Therefore, they need to work successfully with other countries to control air pollution.
Norway seeks to reduce its carbon footprint by helping to reduce afforestation programs and research and technology development in tropical countries and withdraw CO2 from the atmosphere.
This small country has low population density, an abundance of wildlife, excellent air, and water quality.
New Zealand is known for its thriving dairy and meat industry. It is characterized by increasing greenhouse gas emissions. These areas may also require the development of appropriate waste management processes.
Its marine resources are large and expensive, supporting economic activities such as swimming, extraction of mineral deposits, fishing, hydrocarbon exploration, tourism, and biotechnology. As these industries develop, Acts and Regulations are put in place to stop environmental misuse and also manage thriving biodiversity.
Austria is hilly land, half of which is covered by forests, a thriving agricultural economy, and one of Europe’s most water-rich countries.
Strict legislation and enforcement of environmental policy combined with high environmental expenditure have helped Austria achieve its harsh air quality levels. Utilizing the best available technology in industries and buildings, regulation of sulfur content in fuels, unleaded gasoline, and three-way catalytic converters in new vehicles are some of the means to achieve this.
Agriculture and food processing are important industries in Austria, which follow a sustainable agricultural policy adhering to the core principles of organic farming. Waste disposal is also managed efficiently.
Water treatment plants and water conservation are also given high priority.
Switzerland’s environmental policy seeks to make more economic use of available space and curb the expansion of urban building areas.
Switzerland scores well in sanitation, water quality, forest health, and pesticide regulation, but scores low in agricultural practices as farmers are forced to grow crops on every available slope and cranes of its mountainous landscape.
The manufacturing and transportation sectors are high emitters of CO2. But high-performance filters and catalytic converters are installed in vehicles. Major development projects are supervised by experts who advise contractors on the best environmental practices.
Switzerland takes pride in promoting green tourism, maintaining the integrity of its country, and preserving its biodiversity.
The major environmental pressure in Denmark arises from its intensive agricultural sector, the transport sector, and the energy supply sector which rely heavily on fossil fuels. They have well established environmental plans and policies that are efficiently controlled by local authorities and fully supported by public opinion.
Denmark improves air and water quality, waste management, safe management of chemical products, nature conservation, and agricultural policy. His environmental policy currently focuses on acid deposition, nutrient discharge, groundwater contamination, biodiversity, and climate change.
The integration of economic and environmental policies has been a success in Denmark. Heinous environmental expenditure is covered by environmental fees and taxes and green tax reform.
As seen above, there are various factors that help a city or country deal with pollution at various levels. The state of the economy, the priorities of the government, and the support of the public are some. For some, international cooperation and relations also play a role in global changes such as climate change. Two or more countries may share borders or common water resources where trans-border pollution occurs.
It also occurs in oceans and oceans, where pollutants are crossed by ocean currents and winds. Imagine a state of a country like New Zealand that has to face the debris of a spacecraft that falls into its waters, but is never sent into space. Although it is almost comical, it is heartening to see countries and people setting policies and taking action to combat pollution. It is like encouraging to see international cooperation in matters of building each other up for a common reason.