andwiched between 2 of the fastest growing countries, Bhutan is very much unlike China and India. Where China and India contribute towards nearly 36% of the worlds CO2 emissions, Bhutan is carbon negative. According to the latest carbon emissions data it produces 2.2 million tonnes of carbon every year and consumes 6.6 million tonnes of it.
Back in 2009, Bhutan was a participant at the Paris Climate Change conference. They vowed to become and remain carbon neutral forever. Not many people were amused. Their claim was not the biggest impact on the conference simply because how little role it plays in the politics of the world. 4 years later, in 2013, Bhutan announced the reported how it kept its promise. How they worked towards a carbon-neutral country and ended up making a carbon-negative one.
Bhutan achieves this unique foot by initiating a variety of programs. It has a forest cover of 72% and aims to always keep it above 60%. The country has also partnered with Nissan to bring-in electric cars for Bhutanese people. The government aims to make all vehicles electric within the next few years.
Bhutan is a model when it comes to tackling climate change. If we implement what the country has done, we can make massive progress towards a carbon neutral world.
List of steps Bhutan has taken or is planning to take soon: –
- Completely switching to electric cars
The Bhutanese government is working with manufacturers like Nissan and India-based Mahindra to introduce electric vehicles into the country. Nissan is also providing a 50% discount to promote the use of electric vehicles.
- Connecting forests and green lands through forest corridors
The government has constructed forest corridors connecting the Northern and Southern forests. This is encouraging hibernation, movements and a natural habitat for the animals to live in.
Bhutan has also invented something called the Gross National Happiness (GNH) which measures how happy the citizens are. The monarchs have frequently claimed that GNH is more important for them than the GDP. The slowly developing nation also benefits from the slow rate of development as the industries and road systems don’t contribute much to the carbon emissions. Bhutan has slowed down road development and car sales by making people walk or take the public transport. This seems impossible in countries like USA, China and India because of the whooping populations. The small population of around 7,00,000 people helps the Buddhist nation achieve its claims about climate change.
Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan is a full-fledged working city in the country. People indulge in jobs, politics, shopping and recreation.
Nevertheless, Bhutan is turning out to be a role model for all countries. Countries around the world need to take inspiration from the efforts and initiatives the country has taken. Many monarchs around the world are failing miserably at handling their countries, whereas the King of Bhutan is taking steps to keep the citizens happy and inculcate democracy in the society. The King is one of the youngest world leaders at just 38 years and this is evident in the new, progressive ideas he is promoting.
Even though the country is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to sustainability, Bhutan itself is victim to multiple natural disasters. Recently, the country suffered destruction of houses and farmlands due to rising water levels. Bhutan, on one hand, helps consume other countries’ carbon emissions but, on the other hand, still suffers the consequences of our mistakes.
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a real heaven on earth, creating a small adobe between the busiest areas on earth. It is time every country takes notes and reform themselves to be more sustainable.
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