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25.06.2024

The Greenest Teams Competing in Euro 2024

MSM Green Teams 2024

24 teams might have made it to the Euros 2024, but as this is the greenest tournament yet, which team should rightly take home the title of ‘Greenest Nation’ among the countries competing?

Carbon offsetting experts My Square Metre have put together an analysis of which countries have the greenest credentials amongst those competing in the prestigious football tournament and it may surprise you to see which teams have fared the best.

England only managed to place 11th, whereas host nation Germany are top of the table, with Denmark, The Netherlands, Ukraine and Switzerland placing in the top five.

Albania prop up the table, coming in last, but closely followed at the bottom by Hungary and Slovakia.

My Square Metre Director, Ed Crowther, said: “It’s interesting to see how each teams’ countries fare when you compare them on green credentials. It’s possibly no surprise that Germany top this league, as host nation they are a shining example of green initiatives as a country anyway, but it’s perhaps also a reflection of UEFA’s commitment this year to green issues. For example, UEFA has clustered the group games in closer proximity to ensure fans travel regionally rather than more nationally within Germany.”

Ranking the countries participating in Euro 2024 in terms of green credentials involves assessing their performance in:

  • Carbon use
  • Green schemes
  • Recycling rates. 

Here’s an overview of some of the top performers in these areas:

1. Germany

Carbon Use: Germany has implemented the “Energiewende” (energy transition) policy, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The country has invested heavily in renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and biomass.

Green Schemes: Germany has numerous green schemes such as subsidies for electric vehicles, extensive public transportation networks, and strong support for energy-efficient building renovations.

Recycling Rates: Germany boasts one of the highest recycling rates in the world at over 67%. The country has a comprehensive recycling system, including mandatory recycling laws and widespread public participation.

2. Denmark

Carbon Use: Denmark aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The country is a leader in wind energy, with nearly 50% of its electricity coming from wind turbines.

Green Schemes: Denmark has implemented extensive green schemes, including incentives for renewable energy projects, sustainable urban planning, and support for cycling infrastructure, making it one of the most bike-friendly countries in the world.

Recycling Rates: Denmark has an efficient waste management system with a recycling rate of around 43%. The country also utilizes waste-to-energy plants to convert non-recyclable waste into energy.

3. Netherlands

Carbon Use: The Netherlands is working towards a 49% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The country is investing in offshore wind farms and other renewable energy sources.

Green Schemes: The Netherlands is known for its sustainable urban planning, extensive use of bicycles, and green initiatives such as green roofs and energy-efficient buildings. The country also promotes the use of electric vehicles through various incentives.

Recycling Rates: The Netherlands has a high recycling rate, with over 60% of household waste being recycled. The country has a well-organized recycling system and promotes waste separation at the source.

4. Ukraine

Carbon Use: Ukraine is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The country is transitioning from coal to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Green Schemes: Ukraine has several green initiatives, including energy efficiency programs for buildings, support for renewable energy projects, and efforts to improve air quality in urban areas.

Recycling Rates: Ukraine is improving its recycling infrastructure, with various programs aimed at increasing public awareness and participation in recycling. The country is working towards developing a more efficient waste management system.

5. Switzerland

Carbon Use: Switzerland aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. The country has implemented policies to reduce carbon emissions, such as investing in renewable energy and promoting energy efficiency in buildings and transportation.

Green Schemes: Switzerland has extensive green schemes, including incentives for electric vehicles, support for renewable energy projects, and comprehensive public transportation networks. The country also focuses on preserving natural landscapes and biodiversity.

Recycling Rates: Switzerland has a high recycling rate of around 52%. The country has a well-established recycling system, including separate collection of recyclable materials and widespread public participation in recycling programs.

Here is the list in full: 

Methodology:

The rankings provided are a synthesis of known information about each country’s environmental policies, initiatives, and performance metrics. To define the sources more explicitly:

Germany:

Carbon Use: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency).

Green Schemes: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

Recycling Rates: Destatis (Federal Statistical Office), Umweltbundesamt.

Denmark:

Carbon Use: Danish Energy Agency, Ministry of Climate, Energy, and Utilities.

Green Schemes: Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy, and Utilities.

Recycling Rates: Statistics Denmark, Danish Waste Association.

Netherlands:

Carbon Use: Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL).

Green Schemes: Government of the Netherlands, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

Recycling Rates: Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL).

Ukraine:

Carbon Use: Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, National Inventory Report of Ukraine to the UNFCCC.

Green Schemes: Various reports by environmental NGOs, Ukrainian government publications.

Recycling Rates: State Statistics Service of Ukraine, reports from environmental organizations.

Switzerland:

Carbon Use: Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).

Green Schemes: Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), various cantonal environmental offices.

Recycling Rates: FOEN, Swiss Federal Statistical Office.

For the complete ranking of all 24 teams, similar sources were used where available. For instance, national statistical agencies, environmental ministries, and international climate reports were consulted to evaluate each country’s performance in carbon use, green schemes, and recycling rates.

Additional Resources:

EU Environmental Implementation Review Reports: These reports provide insights into the environmental policies and performance of EU member states.

OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: These reviews offer assessments of environmental progress in member countries.

Eurostat: Provides statistics on waste management and recycling rates across Europe.

UNFCCC National Inventory Submissions: Countries submit detailed reports on their greenhouse gas emissions and reduction efforts.

World Bank Reports: Often include information on environmental initiatives and sustainability practices.

Environmental Performance Index (EPI): Developed by Yale University, this index ranks countries based on their environmental health and ecosystem vitality.

By cross-referencing these sources, a comprehensive picture of each country’s green credentials was established, resulting in the rankings provided.

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