COP21: The European Union (EU) has recognized Bhutan’s leadership role and the “extraordinary ambition” in addressing climate change efforts with a signing of the “Declaration European Union” for cooperation in Climate Action and Energy” in L”e Bourget, Paris yesterday.

A press release from the Bhutan Embassy in Brussels states, the declaration recognizes Bhutan’s unique situation as a land-locked and least developed country with a fragile mountainous environment. It also recognizes the scale of funding requirement to address sustainable development needs including climate change mitigation and adaptation action significantly higher than presently available.

Agriculture and forests minister Yeshey Dorji and EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete EU Commissioner signed the declaration on the sidelines of the UNFCCC COP21. The declaration calls on the international community to support Bhutan’s efforts, as described in its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

Bhutan and the EU agreed to intensify cooperation on climate change, focusing on enhanced support for the implementation of Bhutan’s INDC and called on other parties in a position to do so to join this effort.

The EU is one of Bhutan’s close development partners and has committed € 42 million for the period 2014-2020, focusing on Civil Society/Local Authorities and Sustainable Agriculture/Forestry.

More specifically, the EU supports Bhutan in enhancing the resilience of rural households to the effects of climate change, as well as the sustainability of renewable natural resources through the Global Climate Change Alliance.

Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji also discussed the state of bilateral relations including EU’s development assistance and thanked them for their continued support and cooperation.