A climate change debate

The QED Group and Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry organised the forum on “The Great Climate Change Debate” from 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM on April 28th, 2014 at Taj Tashi, Thimphu.

The Great Climate Change Debate is the fourth in the series under the Bhutan Development Forum banner of QED Group. The scope of the BDF is to provide a platform for an open exchange of views and opinions on the development agenda of Bhutan with relevant stakeholders in the private and public sphere. The BDF series aims to promote public discourse among policymakers, analysts and the general public on matters of national interest such as climate change.

This event looked at the ongoing debate on climate change, which is one fraught with strong disagreements on the scientific data and analysis, further complicated by the involvement of hundreds of governments and interest groups.

The prevailing global view on climate change is that it is unequivocal and accelerating, driven primarily by fossil fuel use and industrial development. As a country with a fragile mountain ecosystem, Bhutan is considered highly vulnerable to climate change. It is expected that we will be impacted by climate change at a time when we are confronted by many other development imperatives.

Ms.Hideko Hadzialic, the Deputy Resident Representative at UNDP Bhutan, argued that climate change is real and immediate threat to our planet’s survival and requires action by the global community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, slow down industrialization and other human-induced environmental impacts.

Dr. Christopher Lingle, Visiting Professor of Economics at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala, took the view that climate change has always occurred in response to a multitude of factors, most of which have little or nothing to do with human activity. Therefore, blaming humans for the current state of affairs and trying to curb economic growth as a response to climate change distracts our attention from more pressing problems such as poverty and disease.

The debate was attended by 50 officials from both the private and public sphere.

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