Squeaky clean: New Zealand is rated No. 1 ... environmentally

In a pilot Environmental Performance Index, researchers from Yale and Columbia universities sized up how 133 countries are doing in relation to one another. The index, which is designed to help policymakers, uses 16 indicators grouped into six categories: environmental health, air quality, water resources, biodiversity and habitat, productive natural resources, and sustainable energy. New Zealand tops the chart, with the US 28th, and Niger bringing up the rear. The countries with the best record of success in meeting environmental goals, as ranked by the Yale and Columbia researchers:

1. New Zealand
2. Sweden
3. Finland
4. Czech Republic
5. United Kingdom
6. Austria
7. Denmark
8. Canada
9. Malaysia
10. Ireland

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