Once again, Denmark is awarded the title as the world’s most sustainable country

Published 31-05-2022

For the second time in a row, Denmark receives distinguished recognition from some of the world’s most prominent climate experts. Denmark has been awarded the title as the most sustainable country in the world according to the 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The index is developed by the two leading American universities Yale and Columbia.

Yale and Columbia’s Environmental Performance Index establishes that Denmark is the world’s best country when it comes to tackling the global climate crisis. The index ranks 180 countries on 40 performance indicators covering, among others, climate change, environmental public health, and ecosystem vitality. The EPI constitutes one of the world’s leading analyses of country-level sustainability trends. 

The EPI states that Denmark is successfully mitigating climate change by focusing on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, expanding renewable energy, and phasing out fossil fuels.

Together with United Kingdom, Denmark is the only country which, according to the index, will reach the goal of decarbonization before 2050.

”Denmark is a small country, but we want to be a global source of inspiration and hopefully motivate other countries to effectively combat climate change. Our ranking as number one provides Denmark with a louder voice in the global climate debate in a time where higher ambitions are vital,” says Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities in Denmark

”It is worth being proud of the fact that our efforts for nature and the environment are being recognized globally. It shows that we are on track. Yet we are far from the end goal.  We are in the midst of a biodiversity crisis. And if everyone consumed as we do in Denmark we would need four globes. Thus, we must continue to let nature be nature. We must use fewer resources while recycling and reusing more. And we must protect citizens against pollution and dangerous chemicals. I hope that other countries will find themselves inspired by our work. Our efforts will continue. Because there is still a lot left to do for our nature and environment,” says Minister of Environment Lea Wermelin.

“Denmark’s ranking as number one on the Environmental Performance Index 2022 is the result of ambitious policies across several sustainability issues especially a comprehensive effort to decarbonize the society. Denmark is a small country, but serves as an inspiration to other nations. The EPI 2022 clearly shows that numerous countries must speed up their green transition and we need more climate leaders like Denmark,” says Daniel Esty, Director of Yale Center of Environmental Law and Policy.

The analysis further concludes that the green transition is not happening fast enough in many of the world’s larger countries. Based on the former 10 years of development, China, India and the US will not reach the global goal of zero emissions by 2050.

“I am proud that Denmark once again is recognized as the world's most sustainable country. This achievement is the result of an enormous effort from the Parliament, civil society, Danish citizens and businesses. This achievement is however not an excuse to rest – we will continue to strive for ambitious results,” says Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities in Denmark.


The press offices of the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy, and Utilities can be reached at +45 41 72 38 05


  • Yale Center of Environmental Law and Policy corporate with Columbia University’s Earth Institute Forum to make the Environmental Performance Index every second year
  • The index is ranking 180 countries on 40 performance indicators covering climate change, environmental public health, and ecosystem vitality
  • The EPI constitutes the world’s leading analysis of country-level sustainability trends.

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