Bhutan urges urgent global action on climate crisis at COP28 Summit

In a powerful national statement at the COP28 summit in Dubai, the Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Karma Tshering, called for immediate and robust global action to address the escalating climate crisis. The secretary who is also the head of the delegation emphasised the urgent need for action, citing the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports which predict detrimental effects on mountain regions with even the slightest temperature rise.

Highlighting Bhutan’s commitment to environmental stewardship, the secretary praised the visionary leadership of His Majesty The King and the nation’s early pledge to achieve carbon neutrality.

Despite these efforts, the secretary’s address underscored, Bhutan’s vulnerability, particularly in its fragile mountain ecosystem, where climate change impacts such as flash floods, landslides, erratic rainfalls, and disappearing water sources threaten both local communities and downstream livelihoods.

“Warming in mountain regions is several times faster than the global average, posing significant risks including Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF). Therefore, we reiterate our submissions on mountain issues including the call for a dialogue on mountains and climate change,” said Karma Tshering, Head of Delegation and Secretary of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

The national statement also outlined Bhutan’s commitment to meet the global warming target of 1.5 degree Celsius by submitting the country’s first National Adaptation Plan, Adaptation Communication, and low emission development strategies.

The secretary also said that the launch of the National Carbon Registry and Bhutan Climate Fund marked strategic steps toward Bhutan’s entry into the carbon market.

Bhutan also expressed optimism for increased climate finance under the presidency of COP28.

“We would like to reiterate that climate finance must be adequate, predictable, easily accessible, and sustainable based on the priorities and needs of the most vulnerable countries. Committed countries that have provided leadership prominence in climate action must also be recognised,” said Karma Tshering.

The secretary also called upon leaders, investors, governments, NGOs, and the private sector to reinforce climate finance commitments, including the crucial 100 billion US dollar commitment by 2025.

Asserting that there is no better time than now to deliver on commitments to limit the increasing global warming, Bhutan’s national statement stressed that COP28 must guarantee a smooth and swift transition to actual implementation without further delays.

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