The Climate Change Mitigation and Energy portfolio helps to mitigate climate change impacts by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and by making energy, waste, transport and industrial sectors carbon neutral. The Bhutanese economy is largely dependent on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture and hydropower, making the country economically vulnerable to climate change impacts. Since 2009, the government has been trying to minimize climate change risks, and has committed to remain carbon neutral for all time. In 2012, Bhutan prepared a national action plan for low carbon development, and undertook a technological needs assessment in 2013.
Sustainable Rural Biomass Energy
The Sustainable Rural Biomass Energy (SRBE) Project is a three-year programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by producing and using sustainable biomass. The project is providing fuel-efficient stoves to families in rural Bhutan, and is demonstrating biomass energy technologies to the industry.
Low Emission Capacity Programme/ Enhanced Support
The project develops Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) for the industry and transport sectors, two areas identified as the main Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitting sectors. The LEDS will identify and elaborate on specific actions to reduce emission levels and other ways to mitigate climate change. The project also works to improve the capacity of GHG inventory systems so that GHG data is better updated and managed, rendering it more usable.
Furthermore, the project develops Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) – an action plan to reduce emissions - one each for the transport and municipal solid waste management sectors. The NAMAs and LEDS will be monitored by systems developed by this project to measure, report, and verify their progress.
HCFC Phase-out Management Plan For Bhutan
The Hydrocholorflouro (HCFC) Phase out Management Plan (HPMP) was prepared to protect the ozone layer and aids Bhutan in meeting its obligations under the Montreal Protocol Bhutan to phase out HCFCs by 2025. The plan has been successful in imposing a ban on the import of all HCFC-based equipment in 2013, In order to achieve Bhutan’s targets
UNDP works closely with the government to train and support service technicians and Technical Training Institutes with equipment for the implementation of a recovery and reuse programme to reclaim refrigerants. UNDP also collaborates with Bhutan on a retrofit incentive programme that provides incentives to end users to retrofit their equipment to with non-HCFC alternatives.
Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Street Lighting in Thimphu Thromde
To reduce the energy consumption in Thimphu Thromde, this pilot project installs energy efficient luminaries that are expected to save the city 60 per cent to 70 per cent on its costs for street lighting.
If the pilot initiative is scaled up, Thimphu’s average annual energy consumption cost for public lighting will be reduced from US$ 27,000 to US$ 36,000. The technology also reduces maintenance costs for the city and ultimately reduces Greenhouse Gas emissions.
Support to REDD+ and Readiness Strategy
Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is a mechanism that establishes incentives for developing countries to protect and better manage their forest resources by creating a financial value for carbon stored in the forests. It is linked with a market mechanism that allows industrialized countries to offset their emissions by purchasing carbon credits from developing countries.
Bhutan's national REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal, prepared with support from the UN-REDD (UNDP, FAO, UNEP) programme and its country offices, will aid Bhutan to address its capacity gaps to implement REDD+, such as developing an implementation framework.