Every year, Yale University publishes the ranking of countries that best protect their environment by analyzing the actions of governments and public institutions.
The methodology relies on researchers examining 24 criteria divided into 9 categories, in order to identify two main points: the vitality of the ecosystem and environmental health. Criteria include air quality, exposure to fine particles, quality of biodiversity and habitat, marine protected areas, CO2, methane or N2O emissions.
The ranking is topped by European countries and the first non-European country is New-Zealand at the 17th position. France (2nd), Denmark (3rd), Sweden (5th) and Finland (10th) have high results which put them among the top 10 countries of the report.
In 2018, France is 2nd, behind Switzerland, and has improved a lot since 2016 when the country was at the 10th position.
The country excels in the following areas:
- Biodiversity and natural habitat through the superficies of protected areas and lands: 21% of the land area and 22% of French waters are protected.
- The air quality with low use of coal and solid fuels in the country, few emissions of SO2 or Nox
- Energy and climate: low CO2 intensity, thanks to a decarbonated energy mix