Sweden is setting the world’s standard for balancing economic growth with environmental protections, according to a report released last week by the Swiss-based World Conservation Union (IUCN) and the Canadian International Development Research Center. The report used standards-of-living indicators such as quality of social services, infrastructure, education, and government, as well as assessing each country’s financial well being. To gauge environmental success, the report looked at land use, water and air quality, biodiversity, and resource use. Scandinavia swept the rankings, with Finland and Norway placing second and third. The U.S., meanwhile, came in 27th out of 180, below Germany, Japan, and developing countries such as the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, and Surinam.
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