For the second time, Costa Rica tops the HPI, with a substantial lead.
The country has embraced sustainability in its national policies: it produces 99% of its energy from renewable sources, has reversed deforestation in the country, and, in 2008, committed itself to becoming carbon neutral by 2021.
Costa Rica has the second highest life expectancy in the Americas, higher than the USA’s; experienced well-being higher than many richer nations; and a per capita Ecological Footprint one third the size of the USA’s.
But Costa Rica’s Footprint is larger than it would need to be for it to live within its fair share of planetary resources, and is larger than its own biocapacity (1.6 g ha per capita). This is partly due to consumption patterns – the goods consumed by many in the country will have been produced in other countries that have less sustainable energy policies. This goes to show that one country cannot achieve sustainability alone.
The Happy Planet Index measures three components.
The Components are Experienced well-being, Life expectancy, Ecological Footprint.