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Environmental connections to public health >>

Iceland tops the European Happy Planet Index

Monday, July 16, 2007

The European Happy Planet Index ranked Iceland as the best in Europe today, according to the new report released today by the New Economics Foundation.

According to the Telegraph article.

“The Happy Planet Index is a break from traditional economic analysis because it attempts to combine objective and subjective criteria to understand the relationship between "experienced wellbeing" and a country's material circumstances. It contrasts with measures such as the UN's Human Development Index, which uses life expectancy, education and gross domestic product (GDP) to predict wellbeing.”

The survey reveals that Europe is now worse at creating well-being than it was 40 years ago. But, Iceland’s example shows that happiness does not have to come at a great cost to the Earth.

According to Nic Marks, founder of the foundation's Centre for Well-being, "Iceland's combination of strong social policies and extensive use of renewable energy demonstrates that living within our environmental means doesn't mean sacrificing human well-being."

The Scandinavian countries ranked the best, while often compared to U.S., the UK scores 21 out of 30. Europe as a continent has almost 3 times too much of global share of carbon emissions.

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