The World’s Most Eco-Friendly Nation Is Now Carbon-Negative

They don't contribute to climate change, but they feel the effects of it already.

Credit: Nomadic Expeditions

Credit: Nomadic Expeditions

Wedged between two of the most highly-populated countries in the world is Bhutan, a small nation with a population of 750,000 people that live within the Himalayas and want to preserve the world’s natural state and beauty.

True Activist has reported Bhutan’s activities in the past, as they have been known to make great strides in becoming more eco-friendly and carbon-neutral. Though being carbon-neutral was their goal, the nation has officially become carbon-negative, meaning their forests absorb more carbon than the country emits.

“According to recent figures, the country emits around 1.5 million tonnes of carbon annually, while its forests absorb over 6 million tonnes,” Proudly Carbon Neutral said.

Bhutanese people believe that their happiness and nature are linked and that without one, the other will fail. The high school in Drukgyel tells this to their students as a reflection of this belief:

“Preserve our natural rich heritage, do not pollute the surroundings. Remember, nature is the source of all happiness.”

As a result, the country does not measure its success based on Gross Domestic Product, as all other nations do by calculating the monetary value of everything they produce, but instead keeps track of Gross National Happiness.

“Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness index gives the natural world a central place in the making of public policy, and environmental protection is a core guiding principle in Bhutan’s constitution,” the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.

Environmental protection is actually literally in Bhutan’s constitution, which requires that a minimum of 60 percent of their land remain under forest cover at all times. The country is currently at 72 percent, which in turn keeps its citizens happy, which then causes them to give back to the Earth, creating a beautiful cycle.

Preserving forests and natural habitats is at the core of combatting climate change, something which most countries are essentially ignoring. Not only is Bhutan keeping their forests from being logged, but they’re constantly adding to the forest as well.

Credit: MoAF

Credit: MoAF

Earlier this year, Bhutan planted a whopping 108,000 trees in celebration of the birth of the first child of King Khesar and Queen Jetson. Just last year, 100 volunteers also set a world record for planting 49,672 trees in just one hour.

The nation also hopes to contribute to the environment in other ways as well, such as by aiming for zero net greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste by 2030 and by growing 100 percent organic food by 2020. They also formed a partnership with Nissan to provide hundreds, and soon thousands, of electric cars to the country.

The Bhutanese Prime Minister clarified that the country has a good reason to continue to fight for good environmental practices, since they are adversely affected by climate change.

“My country and my people have done nothing to contribute to global warming, but we are already bearing the brunt of its consequences,” said Tshering Tobgay, the Bhutanese Prime Minister.

Climate change has caused glaciers to melt at a rapid pace, which has created lakes that overrun the dams and cause flash floods. The country has about 2,700 of these lakes to contend with, all because everyone else in the world is unwilling to face the facts and make changes.

What are your thoughts on Bhutan’s practices and how can they be applied globally? Please share, like, and comment on this article!

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