EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete and Agriculture and Forest Minister of Bhutan, Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, today signed a joint declaration on cooperation on climate policies. The declaration welcomes the high level of ambition of Bhutan's national climate plan.
In its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), Bhutan commits to permanent carbon neutrality. The Himalayan country will remain carbon neutral by ensuring its emissions do not exceed the capacity of its forests to absorb them. Bhutan will maintain forest coverage of at least 60% of its surface area, along with other far-reaching national mitigation and adaptation policies.
In their declaration, the EU and Bhutan agree to take into account the specific needs of the least developed countries in order to increase their resilience to climate change. They commit to play a pro-active role in reaching an ambitious and legally binding global climate deal in Paris.
The EU and Bhutan already cooperate successfully under the Global Climate Change Alliance through which climate finance from the EU is made available to partner countries. Support from the EU focuses on the sustainability of Bhutan's renewable natural resources. The supported project demonstrates that climate finance must also serve development needs.
Commissioner Arias Cañete said: "It is important to recognise Bhutan's extremely ambitious climate change policies. We know that Bhutan emits very little but already suffers from the impacts of climate change. This is a good example of why we urgently need to agree an ambitious global climate deal here in Paris this week."