The 7 countries that are already carbon neutral

Although many countries still have a long way to go to reach neutrality, there are already areas that have achieved this goal.

According to a statement from the International Energy Agency , in 2021 the combustion of fossil fuels in the global energy sector emitted more than 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide . A figure that increased by 5.6% compared to 2020 , a year in which much of the world economic activity stopped due to the covid-19 pandemic , and which is similar to the record of more than 34,000 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted in 2019. But while these trends in emissions are certainly cause for alarm, the good news is that not all of this carbon contributes to global warming—around 45% of emissions are absorbed by the oceans and biosphere each year.

Tropical forests , such as those in the Congo and the Amazon , as well as forests that stretch across much of the Northern Hemisphere , absorb millions of tons of carbon each year. And some countries located in such environments are already carbon neutral zones, particularly those that are small , with limited industrial sectors and with governments that have prioritized ecological protection over the years, according to a publication by “ World Economic Forum ”. But what are these countries?

ButaneTaktsang Palphug Monastery (Butan)

According to the international organization , the small kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas has prioritized the protection of its forests since the 1970s , a time when King Jigme Singye Wangchuck promoted an economy based on sustainable forest management instead of deforestation. Reason why today the country has forests in 72% of its territory and largely focuses its economy on subsistence agriculture , sustainable forestry and tourism . Also, about 40%The country is made up of protected areas full of national parks connected by biological corridors that allow the free migration of animals. Finally, according to the “ World Economic Forum ”, its trees absorb 9 million tons of carbon per year .


Fungu Island in Suriname

Fungu Island in Suriname .

The Amazon nation of Suriname , on the north coast of South America , is a “carbon neutral zone of global importance,” according to the country’s UN reports . It is the country with the most forests in the world , with an extension of 97% of the total territory and low deforestation.

PanamaAerial beach in Panama.

Aerial beach in Panama.

Panama’s Atlantic rainforests cover 57 % of its territory, making this country of 4.5 million people a carbon neutral zone. In addition, the country is home to more than 10,000 species of plants and more than 33% of its territory is protected.

GuianaThe Guiana Shield is considered the left lung of the Planet

The Guiana Shield is considered the left lung of the Planet.

Guyana is another Amazonian nation on the northern coast of South America , which is also among the countries with the highest rainforest coverage in the world ( 85% ). Guyana reports claim that it is “one of the few countries that are carbon neutral”. A peculiarity of this country is that the 14.48 million hectares of forest are very old and therefore have an unusually high carbon sequestration capacity of up to 350 tons per hectare .

GabonGabon, the last Eden of Africa

Gabon, the last Eden of Africa.

Located in Central Africa , Gabon is one of the six countries situated in the tropical rainforests of the Congo . A particularly important area as it recorded the lowest levels of deforestation in the 21st century compared to major rainforest regions. It is also believed to be the only major rainforest that remains a neutral zone , rather than an emitter. Gabon has an estimated population of 2.3 million inhabitants and is covered in forests in 88% of its total territory.

MadagascarMiavana - Madagascar

Miavana, Madagascar.

Madagascar is another of the rainforest nations that is carbon neutral. However, there are documents that state that the country will become a carbon emitter if the current course is not changed. About 12% of the country is protected areas , but deforestation continues to advance, with 25% of the country’s tree cover lost since 2000 , according to ” Global Forest Watch .”

NiueNiue coast

Coast of Niue.

This volcanic island in the South Pacific Ocean , known as “the Rock of Polynesia “, is one of the countries that produces the least emissions. According to the “World Economic Forum”, less than 0.0001% of global emissions and its forests absorb much more. Additionally, the 262 square kilometer island east of Tonga is one of the world’s largest coral islands .