Fraser Institute News Release: Lots to celebrate this Earth Day, as Canada remains world leader in environmental performance

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canada’s environmental record outperforms a majority of comparable high-income countries worldwide, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan, Canadian public policy think-tank.

“As Earth Day approaches, Canadians should know that their country remains one of the cleanest on the planet,” said Elmira Aliakbari, director of natural resource studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Environmental Ranking for Canada and the OECD: Third Edition.

The study ranks 34 high-income countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on a wide range of environmental indicators including air quality, water quality, greenhouse gases and waste management.

Canada ranks 14th overall with a score of 69.9 out of 100—above the OECD average (65.5). Notably, many of the top ranked countries are clustered closely together. For example, Canada and 3rd place Ireland (which scored 75.2) are roughly five points apart. Sweden ranks 1st with a score of 81.5.

Canada ranks particularly high on several measures including 6th on the portion of the population exposed to unsafe air pollutants (with 98.2 per cent of Canadians exposed to levels of fine particulate matter that comply with the World Health Organization’s air quality standard). And 8th on exposure to harmful fine particulate matter (smoke, fumes, etc.).

These results are especially impressive considering that, compared to many other OECD countries, Canada is much larger and colder (which means more fuel consumption and emissions) and has a large natural resources industry.

“Despite our country’s massive size and cold climate, Canada fares well when compared to the best environmental performers in the world,” Aliakbari said.

Elmira Aliakbari, Director of Natural Resource Studies, Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit