Climate Change in Bhutan - SAR-CLIMATE


Updated 1 August 2023

How are you, Bhutan?

Despite being carbon-negative, this mountainous nation witnesseses severe climate change impacts and should continue serving as a role model for resilience.

Bhutan is carbon-negative but faces severe climate change impacts. Therefore, it should continue to serve as an important role model for resilience.

It is prone to climate risks like precipitation variability, temperature increase, and glacial melts, leading to glacial lake outbursts.

The economic impacts of flooding are expected to grow and could reach 4% of GDP by the 2030s. Flooding in Bhutan is projected to increase the annually affected population by 3,000 people by 2030.

Analysis of Climate Change in Bhutan

Heavy rainfall and glacial melt can cause flooding to the agricultural areas located along the drainage. The hydropower sector contributes 24% to the total GDP, while agriculture accounts for 16%.

Moreover, the agriculture sector employs 50% of the population and faces threats from the impacts of climate change, such as flooding and drought. As a result, variations in rainfall and water flow can devastate food security, lives, and livelihoods in this landlocked country.

Bhutan, a country with nearly 70% of its land covered in forest areas and a carbon-negative status, is witnessing a rise in its carbon emissions, which currently amount to 1.8 metric tons per capita.

It actively commits to achieving its NDC objective of maintaining carbon neutrality as a country. The nation takes significant strides by ensuring emissions stay within the sink capacity of its forests. Moreover, Bhutan has integrated climate change initiatives within its 12th Five Year Plan.

Furthermore, Bhutan adopted other policies, such as the Climate Change Policy and National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Policy, to weave climate change into development processes.

Additionally, the country is the creator of Gross National Happiness (GNH), a philosophy that pursues ecologically balanced sustainable development. This philosophy is enshrined in Bhutan’s Constitution and its legal and policy frameworks.

Related Documents

Of Dragons, Data and Clouds: Bhutan’s Journey into Carbon Markets, Technology, and a Resilient Future

Safeguarding Bhutan’s Water in the Face of Climate Change

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