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GoBarefoot Blog

Connecting The Development Sector

Top environmental news from the first half of 2016

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

– Lao Tzu

Monumental steps are being taken by countries ever so often in the fight against climate change. Halfway through 2016, let’s look back at some of the top environmental news that deserve to be in the limelight and appreciated.

1. First carbon negative country in the worldBhutan has now become the first country in the world to have large amounts of forests and vegetation that absorb not only the country’s own emissions but also an additional amount of 4.5 million tons of carbon dioxide produced by neighbouring countries. While the legal requirement of forestry is 60%, Bhutan currently has 72% of its land forested. This is because of the country’s policy to focus on maintaining the long-term sustainability of the country and being the only country that measures success through the Gross National Happiness index.

2. Countries running on 100% renewable energyCosta Rica became one of the countries to stop its reliance on fossil fuels for energy for 75 days in 2015. Even though, Costa Rica has certain geographic, social, and economic advantages that has helped the country achieve this feat, it is an appreciable step that needs to be followed by other countries. Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, and other countries in Europe have also been in the news for making sustainable choices to become major renewable energy users.

3. Breakthrough in carbon storageIceland has had a breakthrough in combating global warming with a new method of carbon capture and storage technology that buries CO2 into volcanic rock. How is this different from previous technology? While, previously CO2 was stored underground as a gas, in this project, the gas was made to react with basalts to form solid minerals of limestone in a very short timeline of 2 years.

4. Step towards forest protectionCambodia, a country with one of the worst deforestation rates, announced, in a bold move, that 1 million hectares of forested land was marked as protective conservation zones. This would ensure the protection of habitat for various threatened species of animals and plants.

These are a few of the major environmental advances that have recently happened. Share with us any steps taken by countries that caught your attention!

Ashwatha Mahesh

A young sustainability consultant in Dubai, Ashwatha has a keen interest in reading and writing. She has graduated with a Masters in Sustainability from Monash University, Australia and completed her Bachelors in Environmental Management and Marketing from Murdoch University, Dubai. Click her to see more of her work

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