The greenest countries of the world in 2021

180 states were rated for their environmental situation. The rating was compiled by Yale University. Scientists found out where the air is cleanest and carbon dioxide emissions are lower, where they take better care of preservation of rare animal species, and where they take better care of the natural landscape.

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Residence Permits and Second Citizenship by Investment: Countries with the Best Environment in 2021
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Yale University is one of the oldest research universities in the United States. It is a member of the Ivy League, a community of eight of the most prestigious private American universities. It has 12,000 students from 110 countries and 4,000 professors.

The Center for Environmental Policy and Law at Yale University researches the world’s ecosystem. Specialists use information from national institutions and international organizations in their work: Columbia University, UN offices, and the World Economic Forum.

How the index is calculated. Researchers at Yale University calculate the Environmental Performance Index. It’s a global study of how nations combat pollution and help ecosystems grow.


The index reflects the state of nature, biodiversity conservation, countering climate change, public health, the burden of the economy on the environment, and the results of states’ environmental policies.

The research will help reduce the pressure on the environment and human health, encourage the states to take the example of the rating leaders and repeat their experience in the rational management of natural resources.

The final score of the country and its place in the rating is the average total value of 32 parameters. Each country is rated from 1 to 100. The full ranking of countries is on the university website.

Top 10 countries with the best environment in 2021

Place Country Scores
1 Denmark 82,5
2 Luxembourg 82,3
3 Switzerland 81,5
4 United Kingdom 81,3
5 France 80
6 Austria 79,6
7 Finland 78,9
8 Sweden 78,7
9 Norway 77,7
10 Germany 77,2

How environmentalists explain the distribution of places in the ranking

University experts believe that the high figures are related to the level of GDP of the country: the higher the level, the more opportunities the country has to take care of the environment.

Denmark, ranked No. 1, emits little carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Also, Denmark has one of the best sewage treatment systems in the world. And Sweden has achieved greater efficiency in recycling and waste disposal.

Some countries lead in one of the parameters. Canada, ranked 20th, is first in biodiversity. And the US, ranked 24th, scores 6th in the number of crop species. Singapore ranked 29th and became a leader in health protection.

The situation in the world is improving – this is the controversial conclusion of the compilers of the ranking. In 2021, most people have access to drinking water and use sewage systems, and nitrogen dioxide levels in the atmosphere are decreasing. But the quality of wastewater treatment and carbon dioxide emission treatment of the atmosphere is still low.

What is the environment like in countries with investment programs

13 countries in Yale’s ranking offer foreigners residency or citizenship by investment in the country’s economy.

Switzerland and Great Britain lead in access to clean drinking water, and their citizens have high levels of personal hygiene.

Portugal is developing hydropower after the 2008 crisis, which reduces carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and sulfur emissions. Water is also a renewable energy source.

The Caribbean countries pay great attention to the protection of natural resources. The islands have many protected natural parks and reserves.

Rating of countries with investment programs

Place Country Scores
3 Switzerland 81,5
4 United Kingdom 81,3
6 Austria 79,6
23 Malta 70,7
25 Greece 69,1
27 Portugal 67
31 Cyprus 64,8
63 Antigua and Barbuda 48,5
74 Montenegro 46,3
86 Dominica 44,6
95 Grenada 43,1
95 St Lucia 43,1
163 Vanuatu 28,9

How to get citizenship or residence permit in the ranking countries

States offer one or more investment options, such as buying real estate or starting a business in the country.

Residence permits in Switzerland for financially independent persons are issued for the payment of a lump sum tax by agreement with one of the cantons of the country. The canton itself establishes the tax, the approximate amount – £450,000.

Residence permits in the UK are issued by investing 2 million pounds or more. The investor buys government bonds or invests in local companies. It takes about 2 months to obtain an investor visa.

Residence permits in Austria for financially independent persons are issued according to quotas. The government allocates a limited number of quotas – in 2021 there are only 450. Investors receive a residence permit by investments of €100,000 or more in the country’s economy.

Permanent residence in Malta is granted by investment of €112,000 or more. Investor buys or rents property, pays administrative fee and government fee, makes a donation to a non-profit organization in Malta. The investor also confirms that he has an asset worth €500,000.

Maltese citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment of €690,000 and more is granted. The applicant undergoes a strict due diligence check. First he receives a residence permit, and after a year or three years he can apply for citizenship.

Residence permit in Greece is granted by investments in real estate from €250,000. The investor buys any objects on the territory of the country. He can also rent apartments in a hotel complex for 10 years or buy land for construction.

Permanent residency in Cyprus is granted by the purchase of accommodation in the amount of €300,000 or more. The investor can buy a choice of house, up to 250 square meters.

A residence permit in Portugal is issued by investments from €250,000. Registration of the status takes from 2 months. The current conditions of the program are valid until the end of 2021. For example, they allow you to buy real estate in Lisbon, Porto and resort towns.

Caribbean citizenship is given by investment of $100,000 and more. Registration takes from 2 months. Investors buy real estate, contribute to a government fund, purchase government bonds, or invest in local businesses.

Montenegrin citizenship is issued for the purchase of real estate in the amount of € 250,000 and a non-refundable contribution to the state fund of € 100,000. A passport is issued for a period of 6 months.

2021 is the last year to take part in the Montenegrin citizenship program under the current conditions. Then the government will revise them. We told about it in the article “How to get Montenegrin citizenship in 2021”.

Citizenship of Vanuatu is given by the contribution to the National Development Fund from $ 130,000. Passport is issued in 1 month or less.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for European and Caribbean citizenship and residency programs by investment. If you want to move to one of the ranked countries, seek advice from investment program experts.

Autor: Мария Колесникова
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