… Bhutan Pavilion to host more than 40 events 

YK Poudel

More than 150 national and international delegates will participate at Bhutan Pavilion in the 28th Conference of Parties (COP) from November 30 to December 12, emphasising the commitment to carbon neutrality.

COP, an annual event serving as the highest global authority for climate crisis decision-making, brings together world leaders, government officials, Non-Government Organisations, and climate activists to discuss collective goals and address climate change issues. COP28, hosted at Expo City Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will be attended by representatives from 198 UN member states and others.

The Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) under the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MoENR) is the lead agency for organising Bhutan’s representation at COP 28.

According to a press release from DECC, COP28 will encompass various subsidiary conferences, including the 18th session of COP to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 18), the fifth session meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 5), the 59th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, and the 59th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation. The COP, under the UAE Presidency, will focus on fast-tracking the energy transition, fixing and upscaling climate finance, focusing on people’s lives and livelihoods, and full inclusivity.

In 2009, during negotiations at COP15, Bhutan committed to perpetual carbon neutrality, reiterating the promise in its NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) in COP21.

Bhutan will use this opportunity to share its low-carbon development strategies to remain Carbon Neutral.

UNFCCC negotiations work based on the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, requiring consensus from all parties for a decision to be made.

As a Least Developed Country (LDC), Bhutan is represented and negotiates under the LDC constituency, aligning with the LDC group to build resilience in the most vulnerable countries. Bhutan also negotiates as an LDC on the agendas of Carbon Markets (Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement) and Capacity Building of Developing Countries and the Transitional Committee on the operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund.

Key priorities of COP28 include the Global Stocktake, Loss and Damage fund, framework for the global goal on adaptation, strengthening 2030 mitigation targets, and climate finance.

Bhutan Pavilion at COP

Bhutan makes its debut at COP28 with a pavilion at the Blue Zone, showcasing the nation’s commitment to addressing climate change issues and remaining carbon neutral.

Under the central theme of “Sustaining Carbon Neutrality,” agencies will share achievements in conservation and environmental protection, challenges to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and sustainable development. The pavilion will also showcase additional efforts of unique sustainable development financing and green travel and low-emission developments. 

Over 40 scheduled events on conserving natural capital, carbon stewardship, community action, water and food security, energy security, and diversification of the energy portfolio, decarbonisation of transport, green and resilient urbanizations are planned. 

The Bhutan Pavilion, funded by the Karuna Foundation, USA, Bhutan Foundation, and other development partners, will be unveiled on December 1. Schedules and programmes can be accessed through www.bhutancoppavilion.com.

The pavilions serve as hubs where individual countries curate their space to attract attendees to experience and showcase their climate initiatives through presentations, panel discussions, creative cultural displays, and more.

This COP is unique for Bhutan, with students from Jigme Singye Wangchuck (JSW) Law School and Gyelpozhing College of Information and Technology (GCIT) bringing in the perspectives of youth on climate change.

DECC and Druk Holding and Investments are set to stage the national registry for Bhutan’s carbon market with capabilities to share carbon rewards to individuals using the National Digital Identity and other carbon market infrastructure. It aims to showcase Bhutan’s readiness to participate in the carbon markets, opening avenues to prospective buyers and project investors on high-quality carbon credits from Bhutan.