Bhutan, this little country situated between the two industrial giants China and India is the world’s only carbon negative country
What does being carbon negative mean?
Simple: it means that the country removes more CO2 from the atmosphere than it emits, and its the only country in the world to do that.
How did Bhutan become a carbon negative country?
Instead of GDP, Bhutan measures growth with the Gross National Happiness index. This index is based on four pillars: sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation, and good governance.
The constitution mandates that 60% of its territory must be maintained and protected as forest. As a result, Bhutan absorbs roughly seven million tons of carbon dioxide annually and only produces around two million tons.
Bhutan also exports most of the renewable hydro-electric power that it generates from its rivers to its neighbours.
Population has also something to do with this achievement. While Bhutan has about the same area as Switzerland, it only has about a tenth of the population!
Would you like to visit Bhutan?
Bhutan is an amazing destination. However, as tourists we must be conscious of the impact we have the the environment when we travel unsustainably.
One way Bhutan protects itself is by avoiding mass tourism. Tourists must pay a daily sustainable development fee of $65. This goes towards funding education, healthcare, and poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure to accommodate growing tourism.
Bhutan’s political system has recently changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. In 1999, the government lifted a ban on television and internet, making Bhutan one of the last countries to introduce television!
Let’s all protect this little gem, and make sure we travel responsibly!