Out of 33 OECD countries compared by the Fraser Institute, Canada ranks 10th overall when it comes to protecting the environment and its citizens, and preserving ecosystems, including water quality.

A Fraser Institute study, released on Thursday, finds Canada is among the world’s “richest, cleanest and most developed countries,” says Ross McKitrick, economics professor at the University of Guelph and co-author of the study, in a release.

Canada received a total score of 68.5 out of a possible 100, which exceeds the OECD average of 62.9, the release says.

Breaking down that score, Canada ranked highest on metrics such as fertilizer and pesticide use (third and eighth out of 33, respectively), air quality (ninth) and number of species at risk (10th out of 32). It ranked lowest on metrics such as carbon intensity (31st), sulphur oxides emissions intensity (29th) and percentage of terrestrial land designated as protected areas (32nd).

Other countries in the top 10 are New Zealand, which came in third place at 73.8, and Sweden, which came first at 78.9.

The Fraser Institute was impressed by Canada’s standing, given it’s “much larger and colder (which means more fuel consumption and emissions) and has a large natural resources industry,” the release says.

McKitrick notes, “Despite what some critics claim, Canada’s environment is well protected, especially on measures that directly affect the personal health of Canadians.”

Also read:

CSA to develop more guidance on climate change disclosure

Divest of fossil fuels for better returns: study

Why ESG analysis is critical: fund manager

Why and how to address clients’ ESG values