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Meet The World's First Carbon-Negative Country

By Tessa Love

As companies, researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs work to make industries and systems carbon-neutral, one tiny nation in the Eastern Himalayas has them all beat: Bhutan is world's first – and only – carbon-negative country.

Carbon-neutral is already pretty impressive, but carbon-negative – the process by which an entity removes more CO2 from the atmosphere than it is responsible for creating – is almost unheard of, especially for such a small nation. So how do they do it?

Turns out, it starts at the top. The nation's king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, developed something called the Gross National Happiness, which was part of an effort to make the country one of the happiest in the world. While he succeeded at that, he simultaneously made it the greenest. That's because the index's four pillars include sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation, and good governance, a recipe for a happy nation and a happy environment.