Covers environment, transportation, urban and regional planning, economic and social issues with a focus on Finland and Portugal.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ranking of the best (and worst) countries to live: Finland is the world's greenest

Reader's Digest researched the world's greenest countries and the worst places to live. The study released on Friday and conducted by the U.S. environmental economist Matthew Kahn, says that Finland (Suomi) is the best country for living, followed by Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Austria. The study looked at factors such as quality of drinking water, greenhouse gas emissions, education and income.

Living Green Ranking the best (and worst) countries
Five Key Environmental Lessons
You Can Always Get Greener
Even the cleanest countries have serious environmental problems. Top-ranked Finland wins high marks for air and water quality, a low incidence of infant disease, and how well it protects citizens from water pollution and natural disasters. But the country also produces an above-average amount of greenhouse gases, has a large ecological footprint (the mass of land and water needed to sustain the national level of consumption) and contributes significantly to regional environmental woes.
The reason: Finland has the highest industrial-energy consumption rate of all five Nordic countries, due largely to its reliance on the fuel-intensive forestry and quarry industries. Colder winters and lower rainfall in recent years have also had an impact, forcing cuts in the production of hydroelectricity and boosting—by 15 percent since 2005—the national appetite for fossil fuels, a major source of greenhouse gases.
A Move to Improve
To get greener, countries must do more to capitalize on national strengths. Finland, among the world's largest exporters of wind-power technology, produces less than 1 percent of its own electricity via wind power, despite average coastal wind speeds of 15 mph, 50 percent stronger than those in Chicago.
Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Manage Progress for the Benefit of All
Top 5
1. Finland
2. Iceland
3. Norway
4. Sweden
5. Austria

5 Best
1. Stockholm
2. Oslo
3. Munich
4. Paris
5. Frankfurt

Ranking the best (and worst) countries

Living Green: Full Country and City Rankings
USA was 23rd on the list of 141 countries, Britain 25th and China 84th. Nations at the bottom of the ranking were all African. Portugal was 18th on the list.
Stockholm was considered as the best city to live, followed by Oslo, Munich and Paris. New York was 15th and London 27th. The dirtiest cities were in Asia, with Beijing at the bottom because of its air pollution.
The study analyzed data from two top sources covering 141 nations to rank the world's greenest, most livable places. View the complete city and country rankings:
Countries Overall
Cities Overall