The government requested international support for aid A without specifying the actual needs, but did not subordinate the objective. This is a departure from the approach of many other developing countries. International support will be increasingly important as Bhutan loses its LDC status and loses access to granted funding. Bhutan`s 2020-21 energy budget focuses on hydropower. Bhutan`s current electricity generation capacity is 98% of medium and large hydroelectric projects. However, the diversification of Bhutan`s renewable electricity capacity has several potential benefits, including economic growth, industrial development, job creation, electrification of rural areas and the relocation of the electricity system from seasonal weather conditions. Bhutan Power Corp is planning a 180 kW solar photovoltaic project with reasons that could prove to be a catalyst for the development of solar installations. Bhutan`s pandemic economic recovery has not yet sought a green recovery. Government restrictions and the impact of the global economy have caused disruptions in the economy.
Pre-pandemic projections put GDP growth at 8% in 2020. After the end of the pandemic, Bhutan`s GDP growth estimates were revised between 0.6% and 3%. Recovery efforts have included, for example, tax extensions, tourism, agriculture and construction, not to mention “green” recovery efforts such as the promotion of renewable energy, incentives for low-emission transport or energy efficiency, or support for large-scale landscape remediation. At the end of 2019, Bhutan published its National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Policy (EE-C), supported by an energy efficiency roadmap that has the potential to reduce its emissions by 0.3 million TCO2e per year between 2020 and 2034. The policy is aimed at industry, construction and appliances. Richard Black, director of the ECIU, told the Guardian that the country`s initiative in agroforestry was wise because of its acute vulnerability to climate change. In June 2019, Bhutan published a national waste management strategy aimed at not providing waste supplies by 2030. This policy is likely to reduce emissions from the waste sector. However, it is not included in CTU`s current projections, as there are no quantifiable targets for emission reductions.
In addition to agroforestry, the country plans to take measures to combat the regional growth of “car culture,” including high vehicle taxes, public transport systems and increased use of electric vehicles. According to the carbon comparison tool developed by the Eciu (Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit), the country is now an incomparable carbon sink that absorbs three times more CO2 emissions than its 700,000 inhabitants, mainly thanks to hydroelectricity. However, much of the country does not have access to the electricity grid. “We are seeing a huge [potential] catastrophe developing from the retreating mountain glaciers,” Namgyel said.