From zero-carbon or carbon-neutrality, carbon negativity is the next step for many countries around the globe.
Becoming a carbon-negative country is by no means a lenient task. The process demands a significant amount of effort and unity alongside firm determination in leadership. However, carbon negativity is obtainable and the proof does exist.
By simple definition, carbon-negative means removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than what is being emitted. Not the easiest thing to achieve, but a select few are already absorbing more harmful climate-changing emissions each year than they produce.
These carbon-negative countries are leading the way
Recently we wrote about net-zero and how different countries are taking action to achieve carbon neutrality. Despite the difficulty of achieving a carbon-negative state, three countries have managed to reach that goal, going past carbon neutrality. Now mind you, these aren’t the biggest nations in the world, but countries nonetheless, that are leading the way in emission reduction.
Bhutan, Suriname and Panama are the only countries that are currently carbon-negative according to Reuters. All three of them have successfully already done what many countries plan and aspire to do in the future.
How did these small governments achieve this incredible feat? When looking into it, you can guess that this trio has done a lot of things right, starting of course from sustainability and responsible climate actions.
Here’s what the countries all have in common
Located in Southern Asia, Bhutan has been carbon-negative for quite some time now. They started their journey towards carbon neutrality and beyond back in the 1970s by ensuring the growth of sustainable forest management.
Instead of cutting down forests for farms and industry, Bhutan chose to balance between conservation and development resulting in excellent conditions for their forests. Currently, approximately 72% of Bhutan’s land is covered by forests and trees.
Many countries in South America are known for dense forests and Suriname is one of them. With a population of approximately 600 000 people, Suriname has been carbon-negative since 2014. This country is known for its rainforests which are still in pristine form. Their dense forests cover most of the land and also act as a beneficial carbon sink.
Panama is no different, although its population of four million people is significantly higher compared to the other two. Still, forestry is fundamental. Over 63% of Panama is covered in green and the country is widely known for being a pioneer among South American countries in taking excellent care of its forests.
Taking actions against emissions
The world’s three carbon-negative countries share the same core values and beliefs. It comes down to the efficient and powerful protection of their forests which absorb so much of the carbon, but also responsible and strict actions against emissions. These countries have taken huge steps forward with their renewable energy policies, and waste cutting plans alongside electrifying transport.
Needless to say, these kinds of actions require more input, resources and determination in bigger countries. But at least it’s been shown, three times nonetheless, that becoming a carbon-negative country is possible. With the appropriate leadership and genuine care for climate globally, the pushback against global warming starts from pioneers like Bhutan, Suriname, and Panama that are leading by example.