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Global Progress in Sustainability: Analysis of 30 Most Sustainable Nations

The United Nations is working towards sustainable development in the global community, focusing on the promotion of sustainable nations to achieve sustainable growth.

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30 Most Sustainable Nations: We’ll examine the world’s 30 most sustainable nations in this post. The 2023 report by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network claims that progress towards the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals is slow. Between 2015 and 2019, there was some global advancement in the areas of sustainability and circular economy.

However, with the global pandemic that struck in 2020, the increase drastically decreased. Because they were more prepared to handle emergencies, high-income economies fared better than low- and middle-income ones. These nations were unable to achieve substantial progress on important issues like climate change, biodiversity conservation, and responsible consumerism despite their quick emergency responses.

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Low-income nations face an even more dire sustainability outlook, with their limited financial resources compounding the effects of these challenges. According to the analysis, to advance internationally in sustainable development, there has to be a $500 billion annual increase in investments made in low- and middle-income economies by 2025. The research also highlights how the globe is not on course to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Because of serious risks to biodiversity and climate change, it is not likely that any one of the SDGs will be achieved globally. The world faces several pressing issues, including a lack of food, famine, ocean hazards, water scarcity, and failing educational systems.

The G20 nations account for more than 50% of the world’s land area, almost 70% of its forests, and more than 80% of the world’s GDP. More than 60% of the world’s oil and gas production as well as 90% of the world’s extraction of coal and lignite comes from these nations. A number of issues, including hunger, water scarcity, poverty, and climate change, pose serious problems for low-income and impoverished economies. As a result, G20 countries bear the greatest share of the world’s resources and economic gains. As such, they have a major obligation to achieve sustainable development and safeguard global boundaries.

Reuters reported on November 16, 2023, that in 2022, developed nations fulfilled their yearly pledge of $100 billion to support least developed economies in their fight against climate change. Developed economies promised to boost underdeveloped economies with this aid in 2009. But the goal was consistently missed, which slowed down the advancement of climate action. To bolster their climate resilience and make the switch to green energy, low-income nations greatly depend on their assistance.

However, despite being one of the largest economies, the US trails behind with its meager commitment to the SDGs. Under the Biden administration, the nation pledged in 2022 to cut carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. One of the main things impeding the nation’s efforts to achieve the SDGs is the absence of law.

The EU’s Dedication to Green Transition and Sustainability

In an effort to compete with China and the US, the European Union is making significant strides to increase the production of clean technology, according to a February 6 Reuters story. By 2030, the EU wants to produce 40% of its own emission-reduction technology, with a particular emphasis on renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Permitting renewable energy technology projects in the area will be more convenient and expedited according to the recently passed Net-Zero Industry Act. The EU is determined to deepen its commitment to sustainability and the green transition, even though meeting the 40% objective is difficult.

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Though the bold goal of achieving sustainable energy self-sufficiency is a significant start in the right direction, lawmakers and the government are not the only ones who must shoulder the burden. Green energy is becoming a reality thanks in large part to the leading renewable energy companies in the area. Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Acciona, S.A., and RWE Aktiengesellschaft are a few of the top renewable energy firms in the area.

One of the top renewable energy companies in Germany is RWE Aktiengesellschaft. RWE Aktiengesellschaft and its partner PPC Renewables chose to increase their sustainable energy footprint in Greece, the firm said on February 8. The business plans to construct a 450-megawatt solar farm in Northern Greece’s Western Macedonia. The building of the solar farm is scheduled to begin in the upcoming months and be finished by 2025. The goal of this project is to aid in the nation’s shift to renewable energy.

The World’s 30 Most Sustainable Nations

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30. Chile

SDG Score (2023): 78.2

Chile, a country in Southern America, comes in at number thirty on our list of the world’s most sustainable nations. The SDSN reported Chile’s SDG score as being 78.2. The nation has made progress on some SDGs, most notably gender equality and access to clean water and sanitation.

29. Iceland

2023 SDG Score: 78.3

Iceland is ranked 29th in our ranking. The nation’s SDG score is 78.3, which is marginally higher than the 77.8 average for the region. Among the significant issues the nation faces are hunger, ethical consumerism, and sanitation. Nonetheless, the nation has met certain SDG targets, such as those related to inequality, sustainable energy, poverty, and peace and justice.

28. Greece

2023 SDG Score: 78.4

Greece, ranked 28th on our list, with a 78.4 SDG score. The preservation of marine life and responsible production and consumption are two of the nation’s major concerns. SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and SDG 10 (reduced inequality) are both expected to be accomplished by Greece.

27. New Zealand

SDG Score (2023): 78.4

One of the world’s most sustainable nations is New Zealand. As of 2023, the nation reports an SDG score of 78.4. More than half of the nation’s sustainable development objectives will be met. Hunger and climate change are two of the biggest problems.

26. Canada

SDG Score (2023): 78.5

Our list ranks Canada at number 26. The nation’s SDG score is 78.5. By 2023, the nation will have accomplished the SDGs of gender equality and zero poverty. Significant obstacles still face the nation, nevertheless, in the areas of the SDGs, ending hunger, combating climate change, responsible consumption, and land-based livelihoods.

25. Moldova

2023 SDG Score: 78.6

Moldova, with an SDG score of 78.6, is ranked 25th on our list. Among the significant issues the nation faces are hunger, ethical consumerism, and sanitation. On the other hand, the nation is headed toward sustainable cities and communities and has met SDG benchmarks for quality, inequality, and poverty.

24. Italy

SDG Score (2023): 78.8

Among the world’s most sustainable nations is Italy. It has a 78.8 SDG score. The nation is on course to meet its targets for poverty eradication and sanitary conditions. It comes in at number 24 on our list.

23. Slovak Republic

79.1 for SDG Score (2023)

One of the world’s most sustainable nations is the Slovak Republic. The nation’s SDG score is 79.1. The nation is headed toward accomplishing more than half of its sustainable development objectives. Hunger relief and climate action still face significant obstacles.

22. Hungary

SDG Rating for 2023 is 79.4.

At number 22 on our list is Hungary. The nation’s SDG rating is 79.4. Hunger, goal partnerships, and climate change are among the nation’s major problems. SDG 1—no poverty—has been attained by the nation, nevertheless.

21. Japan

2023 SDG Score: 79.4

Japan comes in at number 21 on our list. As of 2023, the nation reports an SDG score of 79.4. The nation is expected to surpass 50% of its sustainable targets. SDGs like innovative industry practices and high-quality education have been met. Gender equality and hunger are two major issues that still exist.

20. Netherlands

SDG Score: 79.4 for 2023

One of the world’s most sustainable nations is the Netherlands. It has a 79.4 SDG score. SDG 1—no poverty—has been accomplished by the nation. The nation continues to face many difficulties, including those related to famine, climate change, and ethical consumerism.

19. Belgium

2023 SDG Score is 79.5.

Belgium, ranked 19th on our list, with an SDG score of 79.5. The preservation of marine life and responsible production and consumption are two of the nation’s major concerns. Nonetheless, it has made progress toward a number of SDGs and has attained gender equality, zero poverty, and SDGs.

18. Portugal

2023 SDG Score: 80.0

Our list ranks Portugal eighteenth. The nation’s SDG score is 80, which is higher than the 77.8 average for the region. The nation’s major problems are marine life, ethical consumerism, and famine. Nonetheless, the nation is on course to meet its objectives on gender parity, poverty, and access to clean water and sanitary facilities.

17. Ireland

2023 SDG Score: 80.1

On our list, Ireland comes in at number 17. As of 2023, the nation claims an SDG score of 80.1. More than 60% of the nation’s sustainable development objectives will be accomplished. It has met its targets for health and well-being but not for poverty.

16. Spain

2023 SDG Score: 80.4

One of the world’s most sustainable nations is Spain. The nation is expected to accomplish sixty percent of its targets for sustainable development. Hunger, responsible consumption, and climate action remain major challenges. It has an 80.4 SDG score.

15. Switzerland

2023 SDG Score is 80.5.

Our ranking ranks Switzerland fifteenth. The nation’s SDG score is 80.5. Hunger, ethical consumption, and climate change are the nation’s three main concerns. Nonetheless, the nation has met several SDGs, like the one on poverty, and is headed toward achieving others on economic growth and sanitation.

14. Latvia

SDG Score (2023): 80.7

One of the world’s most sustainable nations is Latvia. It received an 80.7 SDG score. The nation has achieved SDG 15—life on land—and is progressing towards achieving objectives such as clean energy and sanitation. Our list ranks it fourteenth.

13. Slovenia

2023 SDG Score: 81.0

Our list ranks Slovenia 13th with an SDG score of 81. The nation has made great strides in achieving its sustainable development objective of ending poverty. Additionally, it is on course to meet SDG 6—clean water and sanitation.

12. Croatia

SDG 2023 Score: 81.5

One of the world’s most sustainable nations is Croatia. It received an 81.5 SDG score. Among the SDGs that the nation has attained are no poverty and high-quality education. One of the main issues facing the nation is responsible production and consumption.

11. United Kingdom

SDG Score (2023): 81.7

Our list ranks the UK eleventh. The nation’s SDG score is 81.7. As of 2023, the nation has accomplished SDG 9, industry, innovation, and infrastructure. The issues remain with regard to hunger, responsible production and consumption, climate change, and indicators.

10. Estonia

2023 SDG Score: 81.7

Estonia, which comes in at number ten on our list, has an SDG score of 81.7. The nation must deal with serious issues like climate change and responsible production and consumption. The nation is actively working towards achieving SDGs 4 and 15, which are focused on life on land and providing excellent education, respectively

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9. Poland

2023 SDG Score: 81.8

One of the world’s most sustainable nations is Poland. More than half of the nation’s sustainable development objectives will be met. Hunger and the preservation of marine life continue to be major issues.

8. Czechia

SDG Rating for 2023: 81.9

Czechia, which is ranked eighth on our list, has an SDG score of 81.9. The nation must deal with serious issues like climate change and responsible production and consumption. The nation is actively working towards achieving SDGs 17 and 11, which focus on partnership for objectives and sustainable cities and communities.

7. Norway

2023 SDG Score: 82.0

Norway comes in seventh place. The nation’s SDG score is 82. The nation has met SDG indicators such as poverty, health and well-being, clean energy, and decreased inequality.

6. France

2023 SDG Score: 82.0

On our list of the world’s most sustainable nations, France comes in at number six. More than 60% of the nation’s sustainable development goals are expected to be met. Concerns about consumption and climate change still exist.

5. Austria

SDG Rating for 2023: 82.3

Austria is one of the world’s most sustainable nations. As of 2023, the nation claims an SDG score of 82.3. The nation will meet nearly 60% of its sustainable development objectives, achieving goals such as clean energy and the absence of poverty.

4. Germany

SDG Rating for 2023: 83.4

Germany, ranked fourth on our list, has an SDG score of 83.4. SDG 6—clean water and sanitation—is something that the nation is on course to accomplish. There are still significant obstacles to responsible consumerism and climate change. Nonetheless, the nation is gradually getting better.

3. The Danish

SDG Rating for 2023: 85.7

On our list of the world’s most sustainable nations, Denmark comes in at number three. The nation has an SDG score of 85.7, per the SDSN. The nation has met three SDGs: no poverty, gender equality, and sustainable energy.

2. Sweden

SDG Rating for 2023: 86.0

Sweden comes in second place. The nation’s SDG score is 86. By 2023, the nation will have accomplished its objectives of having clean energy, zero poverty, and high-quality education. It is also on schedule to have clean water and sanitary conditions.

1. Finland

SDG Rating for 2023: 86.8

On our ranking of the world’s most sustainable nations, Finland comes in first. As of 2023, the nation reports an SDG score of 86.8. The nation is expected to meet more than 60% of its sustainable development goals. It has accomplished the SDGs, renewable energy, high-quality education, and the eradication of poverty by 2023.

Farheen Ashraf
Farheen Ashraf
Farheen Ashraf is a History graduate. She writes on a variety of topics, including business, entertainment, laws, poetry, stories, travel, and more. Her passion for writing has led her to explore a variety of genres.

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