San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica named among top-5 ‘greenest’ countries

Costa Rica ranks as the fifth greenest country in the world, according to the study “Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2012,” conducted by the universities of Yale and Columbia and published last week.

Costa Rica is the only country outside Europe in the top 10 list that includes: Switzerland, Latvia, Norway, Luxembourg, Costa Rica, France, Austria, Italy, U.K. and Sweden.

Other countries of the region ranked are: Nicaragua in 35th place, Panama in 39th, Hondurasin 71st, El Salvador in 75th and Guatemala in 76th (Belize did not appear).

The United States was noteworthy as a developed country with a poor ranking, although since 2010 the U.S. has moved up in ranking -it was in 60th place- and now stands in 49th place.

Experts who conducted the research expressed concern about poor results for water resources and the effects on ecosystems and greenhouse-gas emissions implicated in climate change and urban air pollution.

At the bottom of the list, countries with the worst environmental records are Kuwait, Yemen, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iraq.

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