Going Neutral

6 countries have declared their intention to become carbon neutral.
They will join the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) Climate Neutral Network.

They are pioneers for a new world we will all have to inhabit before the end of the century.

Costa Rica

Its target date is 2021, the country’s bicentenary. Most of Costa Rica’s electricity comes from low-carbon hydropower. By reversing deforestation, it has turned its forests into a carbon sink that can soak up carbon emissions.


Almost all Iceland’s electricity comes from its abundant renewable resources – geothermal and hydroelectric power. It wants to pioneer hydrogen vehicles (including its fishing fleet), and it plans to turn its large land area into a carbon sink by revegetating its land surface, which has suffered from long-term erosion and desertification.


The very survival of the Maldives, a country of low-lying islands in the Indian Ocean, is threatened by sea-level rise. It has announced a desire to go carbon neutral by 2019 and asked experts for advice on how to go about it.


Solar heating and energy efficiency in buildings, plus public transport, are the main strategies behind minimizing the principality’s emissions, augmented by offsetting abroad.


The tiny Pacific island nation of 1,700 people is investing in energy efficiency and plans to develop wind and solar power.


Promises to be neutral by 2030. It plans to capture emissions and store them in old North Sea oil wells. Norway has pioneered the carbon market and plans to use it extensively to reach the target. Critics say Norway is not taking responsibility for the North Sea oil and gas it sells.

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