Forget net-zero: meet the small-nation, carbon-negative club

(Reuters, 3 Nov 2021) Forested Bhutan, Suriname and Panama now absorb more emissions than they produce. Can other countries join them?

The heavily forested Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan - which measures its success in "Gross National Happiness" - hasn't made a net-zero pledge, like a growing number of nations.

That's because it is already "carbon negative", absorbing more climate-changing emissions each year than it produces.

The forests of the thinly populated country of less than a million people absorb more than 9 million tonnes of carbon each year, while its economy, designed to reduce fossil fuel use and waste, produces less than 4 tonnes.

"We are showing the world what we can do if we have the political will," Sonam Wangdi, secretary of the National Environment Commission, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview at the U.N. climate talks in Glasgow.

A tiny but growing club of "carbon negative" forest countries is emerging, with Suriname - a small rainforest country north of Brazil - already a member and Panama expected to be certified later this year.

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Reuters, 3 Nov 2021: Forget net-zero: meet the small-nation, carbon-negative club