Canberra tops list of world’s most sustainable cities

Canberra tops list of world’s most sustainable cities
The Australia capital has one of the world’s lowest scores on pollution, according to the new study

Canberra has topped a new study of the world’s most sustainable cities.

The Australian capital was ranked on criteria including use of renewable energy, pollution levels, percentage of green spaces, traffic levels, affordability of property and CO2 emissions to take the top spot in the study conducted by UK price comparison site Uswitch.

Australia’s largest inland city relies heavily on solar power and wind farms and produces 48 per cent of its energy from sustainable sources.

It also has one of the lowest scores on the study’s pollution index.

The Spanish capital city of Madrid was ranked second, scoring highly for energy and transport, while the Queensland capital of Brisbane came in third place.

London took 12th place on the list of most sustainable cities, but performed poorly on pollution levels, most of which are caused by traffic.

The UK capital enjoys over 3,000 parks and over 64 per cent of the city is given over to green space.

At the other end of the spectrum, Jeddah came bottom of the list for sustainability.

The port city in Saudi Arabia is heavily reliant on fuel and gas, which form a major part of the country’s economy.

The Indian capital of New Delhi came a close second, where up to 50 per cent of the population live in slums without access to proper water supplies or waste management.

The number of vehicles in the city has also increased by 97 per cent over the past decade, creating major air pollution and congestion.

Will Owen, energy expert at, said: “Many cities around the world are committing to environmental change and making it easier for their residents to make greener choices in their lives. Our study has highlighted which cities are leading the way with sustainability, and which need to do more to improve their environmental impact.”

The news follows a call by ethical travel company Responsible Travel to add carbon footprint labels to holidays.

Writing for The Independent last year, the company’s CEO Justin Francis said: “Tourism is a carbon-intensive industry – it’s also one of the most lightly regulated. We need transparency. As holidaymakers we deserve the data to make informed choices. And increasingly, we’ll expect it.”

He added: “Tourism can be an immense force for good, and I believe it has an important role in our future. But not if it can’t adapt to the challenges faced by the planet.”

Top 10 most sustainable cities

1. Canberra, Australia

2. Madrid, Spain

3. Brisbane, Australia

4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

5. Copenhagen, Denmark

6. Frankfurt, Germany

7. Hamburg, Germany

8. Prague, Czech Republic

9. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

10. Zurich, Switzerland