MB Subba 

The UN Climate Change Conference made some achievements, though not all expectations in terms of delivering on commitments made by carbon-emitting countries towards climate change mitigation were met, said Agriculture Minister Yeshey Penjore yesterday.

The minister and his delegation from Bhutan to the COP26 arrived in Paro yesterday.

However, he said that the conference, which was held from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow in the United Kingdom, was successful in terms of strengthening Bhutan’s relations with development partners.

“We held many bilateral meetings on the side lines with our development partners,” he said.

He said that a report on Bhutan’s participation at the COP26 would be submitted to the Cabinet.

Speaking at the “high-level segment” of the conference on November 9, Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor emphasised the urgent need for COP to deliver ambitious, concrete, and enhanced climate actions.

He called upon developed countries to scale up finance for adaptation, loss, and damage, and said technology transfer and capacity building are needed to enable vulnerable countries to cope with climate-induced challenges.

Lyonpo also underscored the need to make finance easily accessible with fewer procedural challenges.  

He said that water resources, agriculture, and infrastructure for life, food security, and livelihood were at risk in the fragile mountain ecosystems of countries like Bhutan.

“We are imposed upon by loss and damages frequently induced by climate disasters. As such, adaptation is a priority for us,” he said.

He added that adaptation must be supported with grants in finance for developing countries. He requested that countries live up to the USD 100 billion climate finance commitment, and said that adaptation must receive an equal share in climate financing.

He called on investors, governments, multinational donors, and the private sector, among others, to support Bhutan’s green initiatives.

The summit took place against the backdrop of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report which showed that “unless there are rapid, sustained, and large-scale reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, the Paris Agreement goal of 1.5 degree Celsius will be impossible to reach”.

Lyonpo also highlighted that under the strong environmental stewardship of the Bhutanese Monarchs, the country continued to lead the way towards sustainable development and a low emission climate-resilient development pathway.

Towards the end of the COP26, Bhutan will hand over tne responsibility of chairing the LDC Group for Climate Change negotiations to Senegal of the African continent. The position of Group Chair rotates amongst member countries for a two-year term.