Top 10 Countries practicing Sustainable Measures for reducing Climate Change

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The 13th of Sustainable Development Goal(SDG), ‘Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’ emphasizes on the fact that climate change isn’t something that’s affecting a state or a country but the world as a whole. Weather patterns are alarming, sea levels are rising, and weather events are becoming even more extreme by the day. This not only affects national economies but also the lives of the common population.

For years countries have pledged to work towards a better future through conventions and summits, but one thing is clear that the promises made to improvise are falling short and there’s only so much that can be done.

Despite the ignorance of the majority, there have been flag-bearers who’re taking a considerable effort for a better future. While there could be different parameters for judging who’s doing better, we will be taking the following criteria into consideration to decide which nations are doing better than the rest:

1. Pollution of air and water resources

2. Marine protected areas, fish stock status, wastewater treatment, biome protection(national) and species protection index

3. Biodiversity, forest, fishery, climate & energy conservation

4. NO, CH4, N2O, CO2, SO2 and black carbon emission

Now that we know the criteria of testing, let’s have a look at the countries that are the most ambitious towards instilling a change for a better tomorrow:

1. France

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France has decided to set up an inter-ministerial fund to promote the idea of compensating for non-reducible carbon dioxide emissions induced by government activities. The country has also introduced compulsory charges to finance the removal of waste in the next five years and to reinforce awareness-raising campaigns. They are also pushing towards a “circular economy,” in which, by 2025, 100 percent of plastic is recycled.

2. Belgium

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The two main reasons why Belgium’s rank on the 2018 Environmental Performance Index went up was because of their effective waste management systems and the consistent effort to clean up its waters. The country is also committed to achieving the EU’s target to cut 20 percent of the 1990 carbon emission levels by 2020 and has taken the first step by shutting down the last of its coal-powered power plants. Belgium’s 75 percent of its waste is either recycled, reused, or composted.

3. Norway

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Norway has successfully utilized its access to an abundance of hydro energy. In terms of battling pollution, a small fraction, about 2%, is exposed to poor air quality. With their target to slash emissions by 40 percent of current levels, more than half the vehicles in Norway have shifted to electric or hybrid. The country is also striving to protect its regional biodiversity from human degradation. The country’s parliament has also approved an ambitious goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2030, which is 2 decades earlier than they had initially planned.

4. Sweden

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Sweden was the first country in the world to pass an ‘environmental protection act’. The country has been continuously progressing in terms of care for the environment. The government’s waste management policies have resulted in 1 percent of solid waste in landfills and 99 percent of it recycled or made into biogas.

It currently has one of the lowest emissions in Europe, having decreased by almost 20 percent since 1990. The country’s private sector has also contributed to the clean energy movement, seeing participation from both big companies (like Ikea) and smaller renewable energy startups leading the charge in eco-friendly best practices.

5. Denmark

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Denmark has consistently improved in terms of sustainable energy, energy efficiency, CO2 emissions, as well as environmentally-friendly policies. That’s especially true when taking into account the fact that 78.8% of the population were exposed to high levels of pollution in 2017. Though, the country has introduced reforms, bringing down the percentage to 56.9% in just a year, while continuing to set impressive targets in the fields of energy consumption, aiming for 50% renewables by 2030 and zero consumption of fossil fuels by 2050. The country’s parliament has adopted a new climate law and has committed to reaching 70% below its 1990 emissions within the next ten years.

6. Finland

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Finland’s government has promised to make the country carbon neutral by 2035. The country also plans to implement environmental laws that affect various sectors of revenue, such as transportation, agriculture, and business. The greenhouse gas emissions from big industrial facilities have also been reduced over the years. Finland hasn’t shied away from using expensive technology to run efficient systems. The country is also protective of its beautiful landscape, which is home to huge biodiversity. Finland’s government targets to raise close to €730 million through taxes, including those on fossil fuels to be used for the carbon emission reduction program.

7. Morocco

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Morocco has embraced a progression of green arrangements to ration its normal assets and make their agribusiness stronger. Morocco expects to generate 52% of its power needs from sustainable power sources by 2030 and is moving ahead with the objective of sourcing 35% of the concentrated sunlight based plant from nearby makers. The country is also putting forth an attempt to ration its underground springs, which renews itself when left spotless and undisturbed. Security administrations have supported the ban of plastic sacks through crusades named ‘zero Mika’ or zero plastic packs.

8. Australia

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Australia’s goal is to reduce the country’s emanations to 26–28 percent of its 2005 levels by 2030. This objective would lead to a 50–52 percent decrease in emanations per capita and a 64–65 percent reduction in the emissions intensity of the economy till 2030. Less than a fourth of its populace is exposed to hazardous air contamination. Prohibiting plastic sacks, splitting food squander, and developing the biggest lithium battery on the planet are more evidence of their commitment to a better world. They aim to achieve net-zero carbon contamination in Australia before 2050 and a 100% sustainable power source before 2050, including 100% inexhaustible power before 2035.

9. Malta

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Malta is a densely populated region and thus is exposed to a lot of environmental challenges. To fight this, the authorities have constantly taken great strides to reverse the country’s environmental degradation. Till this point, the nation has depended on imported oil for its vitality but is gradually making a move towards sunlight based force and gas-terminated plants which are seen as the pioneer in the battle against environmental change.

About 92 percent of the Maltese population characterizes the issue of consumption of environmental change as an ‘intense’ one. Since the travel industry is one of Malta’s greatest financial drivers, stricter natural laws go a long way in protecting the country’s beauty.

10. UK

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The UK introduced ‘The Climate Change Act, 2008’, which was the world’s first ‘legally-binding national commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions’. This act committed the country to lower its emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. The country also put a ban on all sales of plastic straws and other single-use plastics as part of its 25 Year Environment Plan. If the ban effectively goes as expected, it will help clean up the UK’s rivers and beaches from harmful plastics that are quite often ingested by marine life.

The UK is trying to tackle bringing down its emissions through carbon pricing, which is a cap-and-trade scheme. All companies listed in the UK are required to report their carbon emissions in their annual reports. Such information made public to both investors and consumers encourages the public to make eco-friendly decisions.

Contributed By- Sakshi Singh, Content Writer @ Mitti Ke Rang

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