Environmental Policies Around the World

Youth Climate Action Team Inc.
3 min readSep 11, 2023

It is very common for countries to come together and create environmental policies that establish a larger impact against climate change, but many countries have their own policies as well. Below is a list of various countries’ top environmental policies and whether they are doing more harm than good based on the Environmental Democracy Index.

Environmental Democracy Index:

Environmental Democracy Index is the level of countries transparency, participation, and justice in environmental decision making. Ultimately, the lower a country’s index, the more lenient their environmental policies are, having lesser regulations on issues involving the environment.

  1. Lithuania (Highest Index Level)

Issued in democratization reforms in the 1990s.

Environmental Protection Law

  • Government is obligated to gather input from the public before enforcing decisions that greatly impact the environment. Additionally, the public has the right to challenge government decisions that directly affect the environment.

Paris Agreement

  • Committed to reducing greenhouse gasses by 40 percent, but Lithuania has committed to decreasing the number to 9 percent by 2030.


  • Encourages active involvement from the public in government decisions affecting climate change.
  • Promotes the idea that climate change is the number one issue at hand.
  • Makes environmental information very accessible for anyone interested.


  • N/A

2. Latvia (2nd Highest Index Level)

Issued in democratization reforms in the 1990s.

Waste or Water Management/ 1995 Environment Plan

  • The Environmental Ministry must issue permits for water consumption and the discharge of water waste.
  • “Priority to action against transboundary water pollution, eutrophication of water courses and improvement of inadequate drinking water quality” (European Parliament, Environmental Policy In Latvia).

Nature Conservation Law (1989/1993)

  • Enforces the conservation of endangered species and the establishment of reserves.
  • Sets out the powers and responsibilities of authorities and land owners.


  • Actively sets out to protect endangered species and establishes nature reserves to further evaluate them.
  • Decreases the wrongful disposal of any types of waste.
  • Monitors the conservations and companies to make sure they are doing as addressed.


  • N/A

3. Russia (3rd Highest Index Level)

  • Decree №666, aims to reduce greenhouse gasses to 70 percent of 1990 levels by year 2030.

Environmental Permits

  • Companies: pipelines, chemical industry, active pharmaceutical, meat/poultry, and paper productions must obtain an integrated environmental permit that adheres to protocols regarding emissions to air, wastewater discharge, and solid waste disposal.
  • Some must submit a declaration on environmental impact that lasts for seven years.
  • Failure to adhere to permitted levels of emissions for over six months can be canceled or fine up to RUB 80,000.


  • Attempts to decrease carbon emissions and other environmental impacts.
  • Holds people accountable for their violations against the environment.


  • Does not decrease the impact of fast fashion trades or hard labor.
  • Does not address relations with nuclear weapon constructions/impact on the environment from weapon production.

4. Haiti (Lowest Index Level)

Lacks provisions requiring government agencies to make environmental information (very accessible) public knowledge.

  • After the 2010 earthquake impacted political and economic structure, there was an increase in deforestation and water pollution. Despite this, no large regulations have been placed to combat these issues.

Countries all over the world have their own policies and regulations on the daily life of citizens, but having nationally placed policies for protecting the environment ensures that countries that have little to no regulations have certain basic policies. It is important to note that climate change cannot be reduced with only a handful of countries chiming in; the whole world must be involved to make change.

All information provided by the World Resources Institute and Sustainable Governance Indicators.



Youth Climate Action Team Inc.

501(c)4 youth movement bridging the gap between non-climate groups & intersectional climate action. https://linktr.ee/officialycatinc