Led by the secretary of the National Environment Commission, Sonam P Wangdi, a delegation from Bhutan attended the United Nations Conference on Climate Change Conference of Parties 24 (COP24) in Katowice, Poland.

In a statement Sonam P Wangdi made at the high-level segment of COP 24 on December 12, the delegation urged countries to be flexible, open and constructive to agree on Rule Book or effective and robust implementation of Paris Agreement.

“Bhutan’s extreme vulnerability to the effects of climate change on account of being landlocked and its fragile mountain ecosystem, and the high dependence of the economy on hydropower and agriculture were highlighted,” a press release from foreign ministry states. “The delegation expressed concern over the lack of consensus to consider scientific facts presented at the Conference and cautioned that if concerns of small and vulnerable states like Bhutan were not taken into consideration, climate change threatens to derail the significant economic gains Bhutan has made and may even prevent its goals of graduating from the LDC status by 2023.”

On the sidelines of COP24, the secretary held bilateral meetings with leaders from Luxembourg, Japan, Suriname, and multilateral agencies such as the Global Green Growth Institute, International Institute for Environment and Development, Climate Analytics, and YASAVA Solutions SA.

As endorsed by the Election Committee of the LDC Group during the additional Subsidiary Body session held in Bangkok in September this year, Bhutan will formally take over the Chairmanship of the LDC Group comprising 47 countries from Ethiopia for the term 2019 -2020 at the end of the conference in Katowice.

Staff Reporter