Reader’s Digest has just released the results of a survey of 141 countries to determine which are the greenest places to live. The top five rankings went to Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Austria while France came in 16th. French cities performed better in the rankings of the greenest cities, with Paris coming in fourth overall and Lyons, Nantes and Marseilles taking 7th, 9th and 37th places respectively out of a total of 72 cities surveyed. The top three cities were Stockholm, Oslo and Munich and the bottom three were Mumbai, Shanghai and Beijing.
France, however, performed poorly in terms of its ecological footprint, ranking 133rd out of the 141 countries surveyed. Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, junior minister for the environment, blames this on the ballooning household waste problem and urban sprawl. The minister reacted to this poor showing by criticizing the state’s failure to define a real waste management strategy, and outlined three policy priorities to address the problem: an environment tax designed to have a long-term impact, policies to counter urban sprawl and a transport policy designed to reduce car dependance.