PM urges major emitting countries to set more ambitious targets ahead of COP26

Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering urged the major emitting countries to set more ambitious targets ahead of COP26 at the Leaders Summit on Climate that took place virtually from April 22-23.

“Climate finance is key to leverage climate actions and to implement the enhanced NDCs of the developing countries,” said Lyonchhen, adding that the delivery of USD 100bn per year commitment is critical.

Additionally, he said COP26 should begin deliberations on the new finance goal based on science and on the needs of the developing countries.

“Leadership will be catalytic in bringing the major economic leaders to gather to achieve our climate goals and dream for healthy planet,” said Lyonchhen.

In Bhutan, he said that all the developmental activities are guided by the philosophy of Gross National Happiness that balances socio-economic development with that of environment and cultural conservation.

Additionally, he said Bhutan’s constitution mandates to maintain at least 60% of the total area under forest cover for all times to come while 71% of the country is under forest cover with more than 50% of land under protected areas as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and biological corridors.

Moreover, he said Bhutan’s source of energy is renewable hydropower and Bhutan is not only carbon neutral but also carbon negative.

Lyonchhen also informed that Bhutan is drafting more ambitious second Nationally Determinant Contributions (NDC) given that although Bhutan is small and economically challenged, sustainable development path is the right way in the long run.

Additionally, he said Bhutan remains highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as it is facing increasing threats from extreme climate events such as flash floods, glacial lake outbursts, windstorms, forest fires and landslides.

Despite the challenges, Lyonchhen said Bhutan as a Chair of the Least Developed Countries hosted Thimphu Ambition Summit to build global political momentum on climate ambition and action in December last year.

“The commitment made by Bhutan and other LDCs represent the small fraction of what is needed to reduce the emission by 2030,” he said.

Also, Lyonchhen said the commitment have to be complimented with transfer of green technologies which are environmentally sustainable, disaster resilient and contribute to green development.

“In raising our climate ambition, Bhutan is ready for climate action on the ground, we have mainstream climate action to all our developmental plans and formulating enhanced NDC and a long term strategy to enhance that we remain carbon neutral for all times to come but we need the global community to support our result. Governments, bilateral institutions, banks, private sectors and scientific community must come together before it is too late,” he said.

Lyonchhen is among the 40 world leaders who have been invited to participate in the Summit, for an urgent and open dialogue on ways to strengthen collective efforts to confront the climate crisis. The Summit was hosted by the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden.

The two-day Summit featured discussions on the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action and underscored the urgent need for the world’s major economies to strengthen their climate ambition by the time of COP26 to keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference.

It is scheduled to be held in the city of Glasgow from 1 to 12 November, 2021 under the presidency of the United Kingdom.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu