A report by scientists in the US, which will be launched this week at the World Economic Forum, ranks the UK fifth out of 133 countries, based on how well each has tackled 16 domestic and global environmental problems.
Green Party Principal Speaker Keith Taylor spoke of the dangers of regarding this as proof Britain is doing all it can. He said: "The report itself acknowledges major gaps in its assessment of serious environmental factors in countries studied. The UK's ranking should be viewed in perspective.
"We are a developed, industrialised country already and many of the countries below us in the list are polluting their environment in the name of economic advancement.
"Much of the developing world's pollution is passed on to them by richer countries' insatiable appetite for more raw materials and cheaply manufactured goods. We use the fruits of their forced destruction, but do not bear the official cost.
"Even given this balance sheet trick our carbon emissions are still rising. America may be worse, but we should not feel particularly proud or smug. We are still along way from the sustainable society we should be aiming for and, far from striving for zero waste, it is actually increasing.
"Hazardous waste is something different entirely again, and the report misses any mention of the 2.3 million cubic metres of nuclear waste in Britain (1) set to increase in the future in the light of the government's growing enthusiasm for new nuclear power stations.
"Surely as the fifth largest global economy we should be doing better? This is no time for complacency."