March 4, 2010

Denmark ranks low in 2010 environmental performance index

Agricultural practices and high reliance on coal, oil and gas gives the country a poor environmental ranking

Denmark is ranked a modest 32nd in the ‘Environmental Performance Index 2010’, compiled by researchers from American Ivy League universities Yale and Columbia.

The index ranks 163 countries, measuring factors such as greenhouse gas emissions, protection of habitats for fauna and flora, general pollution, aquatic environments and sanitation.

Although many of the countries that are ranked ahead of Denmark are not industrialised, many others are, including its Scandinavian neighbours Sweden and Norway, which place fourth and fifth respectively. Another Nordic country, Iceland, tops the list as the most environmentally respectful country. [And Finland is 12th. Click here to see all of the rankings.]

Christine Kim, one of the researchers behind the project, said Denmark wasn’t the pioneer it claimed to be when it came to the environment.

‘When it comes to greenhouse gases, Denmark is not much of an environmental leader,’ she said. ‘And it’s mainly due to the way the Danes use and produce energy.’
Click here to read the rest of "Denmark’s environmental standards dismal" at Copenhagen Post (29 January 2010)

The point of calling attention to this is not to beat up on Denmark. It is to note that despite being the world leader by far in wind energy "penetration", they have still to deal with the same problems as other industrialized countries. Wind didn't change things much.

P.S.  Fun facts:  In 2008, the United States got 48% of its electricity from coal. In 2008, Denmark got 48% of its electricity from coal.

wind power, wind energy, environment, environmentalism