The Hemsol study used data from the European Environment Agency, the Odyssee-Mure Project and the Energy Institute to create an index with factors such as Renewable energy share, recycling rates, carbon dioxide emissions and more, to find out which European country is most worthy of the ‘green crown’.

Norway came top due to its high renewable energy share recorded in 2022, despite having high carbon dioxide emissions per capita and large amounts of farmland area.

As one of the signatories of the Paris Agreement in 2016, it aims to reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions between 2045 and 2055 while simultaneously reducing emissions of other greenhouse gases to near-net-zero in the same timeframe.

The Norwegian government’s commitment to sustainability does not stop at its own country: it holds an international commitment to ensure developing countries can access clean and renewable energy through bilateral and multilateral partners.

Up to 3 billion Norwegian Krone is also being pledged every year to help save the world’s tropical forests while improving the livelihoods of those dependent on them.

Second is Austria, which registered the highest share of passenger traffic on public transport in Europe, since its citizens decided to be more eco-friendly by not using their cars as much. Also a signatory of the Paris Agreement, Austria has the second highest score in recycling rate but is sixth for carbon dioxide emissions.

Finland is in third place; their government recently enacted a new Climate Act, effective as of July 1, 2022. The Act establishes revised emission reduction objectives for 2030 and 2050, while also updating the target for 2050. It is mandated to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

Iceland takes fourth place with one of the lowest carbon dioxide emissions rates in the top 10 and the highest rate of renewable energy share of all Europe.

Iceland is targeting carbon neutrality before 2040 and a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in alignment with the Paris Agreement. To realise these objectives, Iceland relies on its primary policy tool, a Climate Action Plan updated in 2020, which outlines 48 specific actions to cut emissions and attain carbon neutrality.

The top five closes with Sweden, which has a high rate of woodland area and the second-best share of renewable energy use.

Sweden has set a target to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2045.


The results were achieved using the most recent data from the European Environment Agency, the Odyssee-Mure Project and the Energy Institute, Statista.

They are based on: percentage of renewable energy share; municipal waste recycling rates; percentage of public transport share in total passenger traffic; woodland and farmland area; and carbon dioxide emissions per capita of each state.

Each factor was then transformed into a score from 0 to 10 to standardise the results and assigned a weighting by which the original scores were multiplied, as factors such as renewable energy share and carbon dioxide emission have a higher influence on how ‘green’ a country can be considered.

The values are the following:

  • Renewable energy share: 3
  • Municipal waste recycling rate: 2
  • Public transport share: 2
  • Woodland: 1
  • Farmland: 1
  • Carbon dioxide emissions: 3

The values were then calculated to achieve a score out of 100.

Rank Country Score
1 Norway 73.30
2 Austria 68.89
3 Finland 62.31
4 Iceland 62.13
5 Sweden 62.05
6 Estonia 54.66
7 Germany 52.06
8 Luxembourg 51.83
9 Switzerland 51.75
10 Slovenia 51.63