The Himalayan kingdom has pledged to reduce its fossil fuel imports 70 percent by 2020. having no oil or gas reserves, bhutan has an abundance of hydropower to supply citizens with electricity, exporting much of the surplus to its larger neighbour, india. almost three quarters of the nation is forest and its 700,000 citizens produce around three times less co2 than is absorbed by its trees (bhutan seeks further reforestation and in 2015 broke the world record for number of trees planted in one hour – nearly 50,000). other initiatives include gradually replacing government cars and taxis with electric vehicles (recharging is estimated to be around an eightieth of the cost of petrol); the Gross National Happiness index – measuring policies and progress in terms of environmental sustainability and psychological wellbeing rather than purely economic – and aiming to be the first country to have an agriculture system that is 100% organic.


Germany’s second-largest city held a referendum in 2013 which led to Hamburg buying back its power supply from the multinational energy giants Vattenfall and E.On. The Hamburg Unser Netz (Our Hamburg Our Grid) coalition of environmental, anti-poverty, and consumer rights groups – launched in 2010 – successfully argued that the city’s energy grid be brought under local ownership after its contracts with private companies had expired. Germany has pledged to move away from reliance on fossil fuels towards providing renewable energy sources for citizens (a plan known as Energiewende). This has led hundreds of neighbourhoods, in response to what they consider to be the inefficiencies of privatisation, seeking a “re-municipalisation” of public utilities and a transition to renewables.