25th November, 2023 | Thimphu, Bhutan
A country in the Himalayas continues to voice its climate commitments in one of the biggest summits, this time with renewed dedication and higher interest. Bhutan will be at the 28th Conference of Parties (COP) from 30th November to 12th December 2023 at Expo City Dubai. The Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) under the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MoENR) is the lead agency for organizing Bhutan’s representation at COP 28 amongst the 198 attendees.
The COP 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 up-scaling climate finance, focusing on people’s lives and livelihoods, and full inclusivity.
Since this conference brings together world leaders, government officials, NGOs, and climate activists to move together with a collective goal, Bhutan shall use this opportunity to share Bhutan’s low-carbon development strategies to remain Carbon Neutral as committed at COP 15 in 2009.
The official negotiations, in which the Bhutanese Climate negotiation team have been taking part since joining the Kyoto Protocol and later Paris Agreement, is an important engagement in the multilateral process. In 2009, during the negotiations at COP15 in Copenhagen, Bhutan committed to stay carbon neutral perpetually and reiterated the promise in its NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) in COP21.
While the UNFCCC negotiations involve a complex interplay of discussions, understandings, and statements from the negotiating groups. It works based on the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed which means consensus from all parties is required for a decision to be made. Bhutan as a Least Developed Country (LDC) is represented and negotiates under the LDC constituency by aligning with the LDC group to build resilience of 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 the Developing Countries and the Transitional Committee on the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund.
With that being said, Bhutan also negotiates for national interest separately for the national circumstances of fragile mountain ecosystems, low capacity for adaptation and mitigation, vulnerability to disasters from climate change despite our insignificant contribution towards it, and the need to sustain our commitment to Carbon Neutrality. Bhutan has been strongly calling for inclusion and acknowledgment of countries that are already carbon neutral and to reflect the fragile mountain ecosystem in the Global Stocktake (GST) cover page decision.
COP28 must deliver on key priorities, among others:
- The first Global Stocktake must deliver increased ambition and action in line with 1.5°C, with concrete milestones to assess progress against outcomes;
- Operationalization of the Loss and Damage fund and the funding arrangements;
- Agreement of the framework for the global goal on adaptation (GGA);
- Countries must strengthen 2030 mitigation targets outlined in their NDCs to align with the 1.5°C temperature goal and need for scale-up finance for LDCs to implement NDCs;
- Making substantial progress on climate finance, including doubling adaptation finance, delivery of the $100 billion dollars and post 2025 finance goal.
The negotiation is scheduled to open with commitments from global leaders with solutions, and the fortnight discussions will end with an agreed negotiated text from all parties that will keep 1.5°C within and strengthen global resilience.
The nation is set to make its historic debut at the COP 28 with the presentation of a pavilion at the Blue Zone. This marks a significant milestone for Bhutan as it steps onto the global stage to bring attention and showcase the country’s commitment to addressing climate change issues and remaining carbon neutral perpetually. Under the central theme of “Sustaining Carbon Neutrality,” climate sensitive sectors, sectors contribution to fulfillment of Bhutan’s NDC, NGOs, youth, development partners, investors and well-wishers will come together to share achievements in conservation and environmental protection, challenges to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and sustainable development. Bhutan will also showcase additional efforts of unique sustainable development financing and green travel and low-emission developments.
The pavilion will showcase an exciting array of 40+ events on topics on conserving natural capital, carbon stewardship, community action, water and food security, energy security and diversification of energy portfolio, decarbonization of transport, green and resilient urbanizations. The pavilion will bring experts both national and international experts to showcase new trends in technology like Environmental DNA, National Carbon Market Registry, innovative youth project on living climate museum, STEM education for Climate Action, innovative Climate financing. The Bhutan Pavilion will have a soft opening on 1st December at Dubai Expo City. The pavilion is funded by the Karuna Foundation, USA and Bhutan Foundation and other development partners. Please check out www.bhutancoppavilion.com or the program list provided below.
The COP presidency, chairs of subsidiary bodies, and the Secretariat aim to drive global transformation towards a low-emission and climate-resilient world that fosters climate solutions and their implementation. The programming organized for Bhutan explicitly covers the themes of the COP28. This holds unique and special value to Bhutan as our country will be having a pavilion for the very first time. It is indeed a milestone to present a pavilion after participating for the last few decades. 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.
The young people involved in the upcoming COP are taking active role at the pavilion. The students from Jigme Singye Wangchuck (JSW) Law School and GCIT (Gyelpozhing College of Information and Technology) will bring in the perspectives of youth on climate change. They are also designated to support the technical team, host and support sessions to develop their capacities, and foster skills in climate action.
DHI and the Department of Environment and Climate Change will also showcase 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. The objective is to showcase our readiness to participate in the carbon markets while also opening up avenues to prospective buyers and project investors on the high-quality carbon credits from Bhutan.
The Pavilion sponsors are Bhutan Foundation and Karuna Foundation.
Location of the Bhutan Pavilion
The Bhutan Pavilion is located in the Blue Zone, Opportunity District.
Building Area – B6
Building No – 71