Bhutan calls for ambitious emission reduction at cop18

The delegation is also following issues related to finance and cooperation with other delegations on strategies to ensure that there is no gap between fast start finances.

Bhutan along with the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) has called for an ambitious emission reduction targets for developed countries at COP 18, Doha.

While the Doha conference marks the closure of the first commitment period of Kyoto Protocol the LDCs also called for the second commitment period to start from January next year so that there is no gap between the first and the second commitment periods.

According to a foreign ministry press release, the Bhutanese delegation is rigorously working with the group of LDCs to advance its position during the negotiations and

“As a nation that has pledged to remain carbon neutral and is a net sink for green house gas emissions, Bhutan remains deeply concerned with the adverse impacts of climate change,” states the press release.

The delegation is also following issues related to finance and cooperation with other delegations on strategies to ensure that there is no gap between fast start finance, which will end from this year till 2020.

“The Bhutanese delegation called for a strong financial support from the developed countries to help the developing countries adapt to the adverse effects of climate change,” stated the press release.

The cabinet secretary Dasho Penden Wangchuk who is leading the Bhutanese delegation addressed the gathering on Thursday.

He said Bhutan is a victim of climate change and remains highly vulnerable to its adverse impacts.

He informed the members that with regard to adaptation efforts, Bhutan successfully completed the first NAPA project to reduce the risk of a catastrophic glacial lake outburst flood from one of the most dangerous glacial lakes called Thorthormi tsho.

“Over the last four years, the outlet of the lake was lowered by 5 meters and an early warning system installed in the valleys downstream. We wish to express our appreciation to all the donors of the LDC Fund and also our partners who have contributed to this project, including the Government of Austria, UNDP, WWF and GEF,” he said.

He demanded that Doha must ensure that it delivers on the extension of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and comparable action from those not party to the Protocol so that the near term action required before 2020 is not missed.

“The Durban Platform must start its work immediately on matters of substance in order to avoid delay in the conclusion of a new comprehensive agreement by 2015,”he said.

The chair of the LDC, Pa Ousman Jarju from The Gambia, who delivered a statement on behalf of the LDCs group said with the emission increase in the atmosphere, climate related disasters have become normal in LDCs.

“We are only 12% of the world’s population, but we suffer the effects of climate related disasters over five times as much as the world as a whole. All these disasters call for nothing else but to speed up global action towards addressing a low emission future where everyone has the chance of survival and sustainable livelihood,” said Pa Ousman Jarju.

According to the World Energy Outlook 2012, carbon emissions increased by 3.2% in 2011 to reach a record of 31.2 Gigatonnes carbon emissions. The UNEP Gap report estimated the 2020 emission gap larger by 2 Gigatonnes compared to last year’s gap.

The chair of the LDCs said countries must agree on comparable targets and common accounting rules ensuring transparency and coherence across developed countries those that are not Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

He said substantial financial resources are keys to keeping the global temperature rise below the 1.5 degree Celsius target and helping developing countries adapt to unavoidable climate change impacts.

“Agreeing on a climate finance roadmap from 2013 to 2020 to provide new, additional and predictable public finance to developing countries is paramount for a successful outcome in Doha,” said Pa Ousman Jarju.

He said that countries must agree on a decision in Doha to annually scale up developed countries’ public finance contributions from USD 30bn to a minimum of USD100bn a year from 2013 to 2020.

The Bhutanese delegation at COP 18 is also following and considering developments on discussions related to the reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).

The delegation also presented the findings of a case study on “Loss and Damage” from changing monsoon patterns in Punakha valley at a side event organized by the United Nations University.

The presentation was a part of a broader program with LDCs to provide inputs on the ongoing dialogue on the issue of loss and damage from climate change through extreme events like storms or slow onset events like melting glaciers, sea level rise and changes in climate.

The Eighteenth  Session  of the Conference  of the Parities  (COP18) to the United Nations Framework on Climate commenced on the morning of 26th November in Doha.

This article was published in Business Bhutan

Leave a Reply