Earth day is fast approaching (April 22), and if you’re looking to celebrate by taking a trip, we have a list of the greenest countries in the world. Each year, countries are ranked in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI). This index ranks 180 different countries, their environmental policies and how they stack up against each other. Here’s a look at some of the top green countries you should add to your bucket list of places to visit, as well as those you should avoid.
Finland tops the list among countries that are striving to achieve total carbon neutrality. The country produces about two-thirds of its electricity from renewable resources, and in the 2016 analysis, it had an EPI rating of 90.68. Second through fourth places go to Iceland, Sweden, and Denmark, all of which have some pretty solid environmental policies in place.
The United Kingdom is on the list at a respectable twelfth place, with an EPI score of 87.38. Interestingly, the United States isn’t even in the top 20, with a score of 84.26. Bosnia is the worst rated European country, with an EPI score of 63.28, good for 120th place. Incidentally, that’s lower than many other countries you’d expect to be far down the list, like Iraq, China, Libya, and Syria.
Countries that have had histories of war and civil unrest make up the bottom of the list, where you’ll find destinations like Afghanistan, Somalia, Mali, and Eritrea.
But what about the countries that are actively trying to protect their land? Well, first off, it would seem that the world as a whole is doing better to protect land than it was 30 years ago. In 1990, only about 8.2 percent of the world’s land was protected. As of 2016, that number has risen to 14.8 percent. Regarding specific countries, Venezuela tops the list with 53.9 percent of its total land being protected (despite being one of the most dangerous countries in the world). Slovenia and Monaco come in second and third, with 53.6 percent and 53.4 percent of their land protected, respectively.