Bhutan could be a role model in combating climate change

Using electric transportation, both private and public, is expected to bring down carbon emission

It is a known fact that Bhutan is highly vulnerable to climate change. The melting of Himalayan glaciers are already underway causing Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) and affecting the water supply in Bhutan. There are also places prone to drought due to less rainfall each year, impacting farming activities and making places more susceptible to forest fires. However, Bhutan is already addressing the issues with clear and firm national policies to protect the nature and environment. Also, the country follows the international protocols in guarding against climate change.

During a press conference held by the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Thimphu yesterday, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres said, “Bhutan can be example to the world with respect to its policy that it has already adopted for the protection of its own natural resources, habitat and push towards a green economy in Bhutan, which can be an inspiration to the world. It is clear that the path of sustainability and green economy is one that Bhutan is pursuing with more speed than other countries.”

Figueres pointed out that the melting of Himalayas will eventually affect the drinking water supply as well as water required for hydro-power, and that several is already experiencing and will continue to experience because of climate change. “Bhutan, being a small economy, cannot solve climate change on its own because Bhutan is not responsible at all, in any important fashion, for global emission that is causing climate change,” she said.

She expressed gratitude that Bhutan because of its size of economy and the leadership from Royal Family as well as government continues to be an inspiration and a role model for the world on how economy and different countries can address climate change while at same time improving the quality of life of its citizens.

She said as Bhutan has renewable energy it does not produce any green house gas but Bhutan does produce some emissions from burning of fossil fuel that is necessary for transportation. She said the initiative of the Prime Minister to move towards electric motors for both private and public transportation can further bring down the emission levels.

Christiana Figueres took over as the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC in May 2010. She has been involved in climate change negotiation since 1995 and this is her first visit to Bhutan. The visit takes place in the context of the on-going intergovernmental discussions on climate change to arrive at a legally binding mechanism to replace the Kyoto Protocol. UNFCCC conference of parties, Peru 2014 and Paris 2015, will be an important milestone for countries to come together with private sectors and civil society to a global agreement that will chart the path for emission reduction, which is urgently needed, as well as to support adaptation over next few decades.

Bhutan has been a party to the UNFCCC since 1995. The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty that sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenges posed by climate change


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