Study after study shows that travelers are becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental footprint of their travels. And smart companies and progressive countries are doing something about this. In Asia five countries stand out for their green initiatives.
Asia has become a hotbed for environmentalism, with many countries embracing greener lifestyles. Here are some of the most environmentally conscious countries in Asia.
With a long and storied tradition of respect for nature, Japan takes the crown as the most environmentally conscious country in Asia. The Japanese government has set the ambitious goal of becoming carbon-free by the year 2050. This goal relies on the nation’s reliance on non-fossil fuel resources and a rising population to be achieved. The Japanese public is increasingly aware of the need to protect the environment, with around 80% saying they are concerned about the state of the environment.
In terms of a green reputation, South Korea is one of the best in Asia. The South Korean government is focused on improving the health of its people by reducing pollution and improving the fitness of its environment. Over the next decade, it aims to reduce carbon emissions by 30%. In its efforts to protect the environment, the country announced the The Korean New Deal on July 14 2020. It plans to invest 160 trillion won to create nearly 2 million ‘green jobs’ by 2025.
Thailand is well-known for its beaches, but the country is also a burgeoning eco-friendly tourist destination. Thailand’s leadership is keenly aware of the need to protect Thailand’s environment and has committed significant resources to that end. The Thailand National Environment Policy, for example, sets a goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50% while increasing average lifespan by 50 years by the year 2050.
Having risen from the ashes of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, Singapore has emerged as one of the region’s economic powerhouses. With the same level of drive to protect the environment that characterizes its economic policy, Singapore has been a leader in Asia in terms of dealing with climate change. They recently introduced the Singapore Green Plan 2030, or the Green Plan, which is a whole-of-nation movement to advance Singapore’s national agenda on sustainable development.
The Green Plan charts ambitious and concrete targets over the next 10 years, strengthening Singapore’s commitments under the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and Paris Agreement, and positioning us to achieve our long-term net zero emissions aspiration as soon as viable.
Bhutan is often characterized as a “happy place”, and for good reason. The small nation in South Asia is one of the most environmentally conscious countries in Asia. Bhutan became carbon-negative in 2017, meaning they take more carbon out of the air then they put into it. Around 70% of the country is covered in forests which is a carbon sink and they have amended their constitution to ensure that forests cover at least 60% of the country. They also export a significant amount of clean hydroelectricity.