Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor – UNGA Event 2020
Source: Climate Vulnerable Forum
H.E. Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor, Hon. Minister for Agriculture and Forests of Bhutan
Climate Vulnerable Forum Leaders Event
October 7, 2020
YouTube Video of Speech
Your Excellency Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Honorable Prime Minister of Bangladesh,
Honorable Heads of State and Governments,
His Excellency, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General,
Ladies and gentlemen.
A very good morning, afternoon and evening to all.
I bring warm regards from the Prime Minister of Bhutan His Excellency Dr. Lotay Tshering, who cannot be present in the Forum, due to his pressing domestic engagements.
On behalf of the Royal government of Bhutan, I would like to extend our warm felicitations to the government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, for taking over the presidency of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, and the Vulnerable 20 Group of ministers of finance for the 2020 to 2022 term.
The Royal government of Bhutan extends its full support and cooperation and looks forward to your leadership.
Bhutan also wishes to thank the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, for your leadership and steering the forum to greater heights. Representing the government of Bhutan, I join Madam Chair and my fellow CVF member countries in calling for enhanced global efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
The most vulnerable countries, despite contributing the least to climate change, are the hardest hit by its impacts. Despite being a carbon negative country, Bhutan is not spared from the impacts of climate change.
Cloudbursts triggering flash floods are becoming common and frequent and putting road infrastructures, agriculture fields, and risking human life and settlements.
Adaptation is a priority for CVF members, the global community must support vulnerable societies.
Notwithstanding the economic challenges, we have committed to remain carbon neutral. Our constitution mandates forest cover of 60%, while the present forest coverage is over 70%. Our energy needs are met from hydropower which is renewable energy and we export close to 8% of the production. This export of clean energy is offsetting GHG emissions in neighboring countries like India.
Environmental Conservation is at the core of our developmental philosophy of cross-national happiness, aimed at ensuring sustainable and equitable socio-economic development for the well-being of our citizens.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented greater challenges to addressing climate change. The reversal of global economic growth has increased a need for ensuring access to food and other basic facilities, as we continue to deal with multiple shots from both the COVID-19 pandemic and climate related impacts. The world must come together to get on track to achieve the global goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as set out in the Paris Agreement. The science is robust and clear. It tells us that limiting global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius is achievable. What is needed is political will to deliver climate ambition and action in line with the 1.5 degrees Celsius pathway.
Every action counts and every fraction of a degree in temperature increase matters.
It is a matter of survival for the millions of people in poor and vulnerable countries such as ours. Therefore, we call for the highest political engagement to ensure the submission of their country’s new and enhanced NDCs this year. We also expect countries to propose visionary long-term strategies for achieving low carbon climate resilient development by mid-century.
The COVID-19 pandemic provides a window of opportunity for transformative green recoveries to build back better, to deliver stronger climate, sustainability, health and economic outcomes.
We support the call by the Secretary General for green recovery to the pandemic and his six climate positive actions, and urge all countries to use climate action on the basis for the pandemic recovery efforts and enhanced NDCs. This is the only pathway that will deliver significant low greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2050.
Climate vulnerability for CVF member countries means risking livelihood: some risks going underwater and some risk being without water.
In conclusion, I wish to thank the government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh for the kind invitation that they have extended to Bhutan, and wish a very successful deliberation and outcome of the Forum.
Thank you, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen for your kind attention.