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EU and Bhutan host National Workshop on Sustainable Consumption and Production to enhance Climate Ambition

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EU and Bhutan host National Workshop on Sustainable Consumption and Production to enhance Climate Ambition
Country: Bhutan
Press Release

On April 5th, 2024 in Paro, Bhutan, the EU and the Department of Environment and Climate Change of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Royal Government of Bhutan organised the National Workshop on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) to enhance Climate Ambition. The Event convened around 50 experts and participants representing the government, private sector, academia and international development partners to explore the opportunities to enhance the climate ambition of Bhutan using Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and circular economy measures.

The workshop led by the EU funded SWITCH-Asia  programme is part of the ongoing Technical Advisory on “Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)-linked to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) - Identifying Opportunities to Capitalize Synergies” in South Asia.

Speaking on the occasion of the National Workshop, the EU Head of Cooperation for India and Bhutan, Mr Franck Viault said,

Bhutan is setting an example for the world by being carbon negative and its commitment to remain so despite economic growth. I hope that the workshop supported by EU funding, is useful to link SCP aspects to Nationally Determined Contribution targets, keeping in mind the importance of the Paris Agreement to fight Climate Change.

The current and projected climate change scenarios are causing widespread alarm. The recently concluded Global Stock take (GST) process under the Paris Agreement has recognised the serious scientific warnings presented through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report. As a signatory to the Paris Agreement, Bhutan has presented its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and is aspiring to enhance those targets in 2025. SCP has the potential to contribute towards enhancing climate benefits while contributing towards sustainable development.  

In his welcome and Keynote Address, Hon. Dasho Ugyen Tshering, Member of the National Council, Royal Government of Bhutan thanked the European Union for their continued support to Bhutan through which the country is immensely benefitted. He also welcomed the SWITCH-Asia Programme interventions on SCP in Bhutan, especially in the areas of sustainable tourism, Green Public Procurement and Climate Change. He highlighted that under the 13th Five Year Plan, Bhutan is aiming to grow the economy to US$5bn by 2029 and to US$10bn by 2034 under the overall framework of “High Income Gross National Happiness Economy”.  Under this new development trajectory of Bhutan, SCP and Circular Economy will be with high importance and express government’s willingness in further engagements.

Mr. Ranga Pallawala, Key Expert on Climate Change and Environment, EU SWITCH-Asia Programme gave his opening remarks, highlighting the importance of locally led policy approaches in tackling the triple planetary crisis. He also highlighted the importance of SCP and Circular Economy, emphasizing the linkages between the material use and climate change. 

As a part of the workshop, key findings of the technical assessment such as on challenges and potential areas of SCP/CE integration in the NDC, were presented to the participants along with potential areas on which Bhutan can consider enhancing NDCs through SCP. The participants also put forward concrete ideas on how to use SCP as a strategy to strengthen their climate ambition while contributing to the national development strategies and priorities.

The European Union -Bhutan Cooperation Background: The European Union-Bhutan cooperation started with a development project in 1982, focusing on renewable natural resources. In 1985, diplomatic relations between the Royal Government of Bhutan and EU were established. The EU's current support for Bhutan under the 2021-2027 Multiannual Indicative Programme, focuses on three priority areas i.e. Climate Change and Green Growth, Good Governance for inclusive development; and Digital Transition in the education and public service delivery sectors. These areas have been allocated an amount of €31 million for the period 2021-2024, paid through the budget support modality. In addition to this, funds are given to projects in support of Sustainable Consumption and Production (€3.3 million), Civil Societies and their engagement with the Parliament (€3.4 million), Public Finance Management capacity development (€2 million) and Support to investments (€ 1.3 Million).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact:

For more information on EU SWITCH-Asia activities, contact:

Ranga Pallawala, Climate Change and Environment Policy Expert

SWITCH-Asia Policy Support Component

[email protected]

Learn more here.