The Most Eco-Friendly Nation on the Planet is Now Carbon Negative

The Most Eco-Friendly Nation on the Planet is Now Carbon Negative

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“If the Government cannot create happiness for its people, there is no purpose for the Government to exist.” ~Legal code of Bhutan, 1729

Lodged between two of the most populated countries on earth — India and China — Bhutan may be small at 700,000 souls, but it has a mighty role to play in showing the world how to preserve the environment, while also cultivating happiness in its human population. In fact, the Bhutanese believe that nature and happiness go hand in hand, that it’s impossible to have one without the other.

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

One way Bhutan is protecting its natural surroundings is by taking “carbon neutral” up a notch to “carbon negative” — where the country absorbs three times more CO2 emissions than the population generates, mainly through hydropower and the protection of its forests. Since last year, the country is a designated “carbon sink,” where it stores more carbon than it emits. Moreover, the constitution itself demands that a minimum of 60 percent of Bhutan’s total land remain under forest cover for all time. It’s currently at 72 percent. As we know, maintaining forested land is an important component of supporting the environment and buffering the effects of climate change. Instead of narrowly focusing on Gross National Product — and logging their forests to no end for short-term gains — Bhutan has chosen a path less traveled. And are happier for it.

Bhutanese Prime Minister sets the record straight about the realities of 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.” ~ Tshering Tobgay, Bhutanese Prime Minister

Bhutan has good reason to want to curb global warming. Beyond the sheer pristine beauty of their natural environment — and desiring to protect it for generations to come — Bhutan has already seen the devastating effects climatic changes have had on the country. Glaciers melting and creating lakes that, while stunning, pose a very real threat of flash flooding — which is exactly what happened a few years ago, wreaking havoc on the valley below when the dams were breached. Considering Bhutan has 2,700 similar glacial lakes to contend with, the ramifications of global warming are daunting for this tiny Himalayan country.

Says Thinley Namgyel, Bhutan’s chief negotiator at COP 21:

“People are already noticing the temperature changes. High mountains which should be closed for months are now open year-round. Monsoon rains are not arriving on time, and then appearing when we don’t need them, destroying crops.”

And Richard Black, director for the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) adds:

“As a small state high in the Himalayas, Bhutan faces disruption to water supplies, extreme weather and impacts on ecosystems as a result of changes to the climate, so it is in their interests to address the problem both domestically and through the UN climate process.”

But no one, up until this point, has been listening.

Back in 2009 during the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 15, in Copenhagen, Bhutan first made the promise to remain carbon neutral. “Governments were so busy arguing with one another and blaming each other for causing climate change, that when a small country raised our hands and announced, “We promise to remain carbon neutral for all time,” nobody heard us. Nobody cared,” said Tobgay.

Fortunately, a renewed promise made at the COP 21 in Paris fared better. Governments agreed on the realities of climate change and were willing to work together in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Finally Bhutan was heard and noticed — even recognized as a good example of how to solve the looming problem of global warming. Things are looking up. Nonetheless, there’s still a long way to go. But Bhutan is making major strides. Here’s how.

The Most Eco-Friendly Nation on the Planet is Now Carbon Negative - constitution

Multi-pronged approach to cooling global warming

Not only is the country preserving forests to help the environment — and investing in low-pollution energy sources like hydropower — but it’s also taking steps to combat the regional growth of gasoline-powered cars by imposing strong automobile taxes, implementing a public transit system and encouraging a greater use of electric vehicles through subsidizing their purchase. The Prime Minister hopes to eventually convert all the country’s vehicles to electric power. Similarly, Bhutan subsidizes the cost of LED lights and the government is in the process of going completely paperless. In addition, free electricity is provided to rural farmers, which helps to reduce the use of firewood for cooking food. By 2030, Bhutan plans to be zero-waste and achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. And the country’s food supply will be 100% organic by 2020.

We then come full circle to the focus on trees. Through the national programs Clean Bhutan and Green Bhutan, trees are being planted across the country. A ban on export logging is also in place. In June 2015, a world record was made by a team of 100 volunteers for planting 49,672 trees within an hour. The following March, in celebration of the birth of the first child of King Khesar and Queen Jetson, each household in the nation — 82,000 to be exact — planted a tree, while an additional 26,000 were planted in various areas around the country, bringing the total up to 108,000.

All and all, Bhutan is proving itself to be a leader of innovative solutions for the challenges we face regarding climate change. Let’s hope larger, more influential nations will follow suit in the not so distant future.

This country isn’t just carbon neutral — it’s carbon negative

http://www.ted.com/talks/tshering_tobgay_this_country_isn_t_just_carbon_neutral_it_s_carbon_negative?language=en

Article sources

About the author:

Carolanne WrightCarolanne Wright enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years.

Through her website Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. You can also follow Carolanne on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Further reading from Carolanne Wright:

 


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  • EssGee11

    I wonder what would happen to countries like Bhutan if they were declared “not diverse enough” like the small countries in Europe and then subject to immigration or fined? Lucky this isn’t in the EU.

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    “Global warming”??? How un-informed can you get? This hoax has been debunked and buried a while ago.

    • Manos Parc

      i….i dont even….are you…? ….never mind.

    • Linda MacLeod Goodman

      With respect, a hoax implies it’s a joke and there’s nothing funny about it. Those pushing this fraud use the word ‘hoax’ as yet another means of obscuring the truth and it tends to be repeated. Words are powerful. My unfavorite is ‘consumers’. Slugs, fleas, maggots are consumers. We are citizens, clients, customers… the word was deliberately introduced to dehumanize us – that’s a fact!

  • It is unfortunate to see/read Carolanne, probably unknowingly, perpetuating the lie that CO2 is the cause of Climate Change … it is not. CO2 levels are the consequence of sun cycles … sun spot activity. This has been proven by real scientist through core samples and other means of measuring previous sun activity. All this article does is play into the hands of the people that profit from a debt based monetary system and will enhance their wealth and control of us through carbon taxes … as I said, unfortunate that wakeup the world in this case is helping to keep people asleep.

  • global warming strikes me as real, an effect of our excessive use of fossil fuels, and easily dealt with through the use of clean technologies, as in nature’s abundance there are bountiful amounts of energy in circulation. follow the trail of clean technologies, escape those traps of capital + government, they have held you tight for too long. realize your unity with all life + consequent eternity, promote the persistence, pleasure, and comfort of all life. we are coming eternal paradise, it’s been too long…

    • hillbillybuddha

      “Fossil Fuels” is a misnomer. Its a pseudo phrase created 40 years ago to defraud people. Another phrase they used then was “Peak Oil”. That was a lie too.
      Step into the light gary, its time for an epiphany.

  • hillbillybuddha

    “Carbon Negative” in a veritable paradise. Brilliant!

  • Linda MacLeod Goodman

    ‘Carbon negative’ is beyond stupid. CO2 is the oxygen of plant life that creates the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat and MORE is better. Carbon soot is not CO2 – don’t be fooled. ‘Climategate’ proved that ‘global warming’ is a fraud, in the climate ‘scientists’ own words, This ‘progressive’ agenda is entirely REgressive, in true Orwellian style. The Plan is for a carbon card to replace cash, so you can’t buy or sell or travel or EAT without enough carbon ‘credits’. It isn’t the control of money, but the control of energy that controls the world. Interesting that the number for carbon is 6 protons, 6 neutrons & 6 electrons. http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com
    “UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is the action plan implemented worldwide to inventory and control all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all energy, all education, all information, and all human beings in the world. INVENTORY AND CONTROL.” – Rosa Koire

  • Linda MacLeod Goodman

    ‘Sustainable development’ is meant to appear grassroots, but it was hatched by the United Nations with the ultimate goal of ending the right to own property. And it’s meant to appeal to environmentalists and humanitarians – especially vegans, who know the only way the rest of the world will turn vegan is if they have no choice. Totalitarian is okay as long as it’s for a good cause. On the surface, sustainable development supports these things – and the concept of living sustainably in general makes perfect sense. But it’s only a mask. The globalist elite who hatched S.D.have nothing but contempt for 99% of us and are all eugenicists who think there are way too many of us – this is an open secret. And thanks to big harma our numbers are dwindling at a profit. The plan is ultimately to herd us all out of the countryside and into high-rise cities where we can easily be monitored and controlled. Where do you think the word ‘ sprawl’ came from? Google ‘smart meter’ with ‘sick’ and ‘fire.

    In China this has already begun, there’s a forced migration of rural Chinese into these high-rise cities, with stores on the bottom floor and a train system and vast areas of the countryside are now ‘off-limits’ to all but the privileged. China is the model of totalitarian globalist leaders, under the guise of the Trojan horse sustainable development built on the big lie of man-caused climate change. Don’t let your desire for a better world make you a dupe for those who intend only the worst for you, your loved ones and most of humankind. What have the world leaders pushing AGW done for humanity? We certainly know what they’ve done TO humanity. S.D. is allegedly an environmental agenda, so what about GMOs? The same leaders enabling Monsatan are crowing about climate change – big red flag. And not a peep about Fukushima killing the Pacific slowly. Nuclear waste is a TRUE threat, yet it’s entirely ignored while leaders and media claim we’re all gonna die from a life-giving trace gas – and some people still Believe. Know thy enemy. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/

  • Nicole

    It is the galactic season and no matter how great we as humanity think we are, we cannot control creation or the universe. It is being shown and will continue to be shown that we actually know nothing on this planet and are in for a ride that some will enjoy and welcome, some not so much.