Lyonchhen’s visit to the European Union
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay on the last day of his visit to the European Union in Brussels took part in the High Level Panel on “A Climate Change Agreement: Towards Paris and Beyond”.
Lyonchhen highlighted the need for a concrete outcome from the Paris Conference later in the year. He also spoke about the threats facing Bhutan on account of global warming and the steps the Royal Government is taking to contribute to global efforts to address climate change. He mentioned the constitutional requirement for Bhutan to maintain 60% of its territory under forest cover for all times and the existing cover of 72%. He also mentioned the declaration by Bhutan in 2009 at COP 15 in Copenhagen to remain carbon neutral and how the country is presently carbon negative.
On the sidelines of the European Development Days meeting today, Lyonchhen met with Queen Mathilde of the Belgians and conveyed to Her the greetings of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen.
Lyonchhen called on Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and exchanged views on further strengthening Bhutan-EU relations and other issues of mutual interest including development cooperation and climate change. Lyonchhen also met separately with EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Mr. Christos Stylianides and EU Commissioner for International Cooperation & Development, Mr. Neven Mimica, and other senior EU officials. Lyonchhen discussed with them, among others, issues relating to disaster risk reduction, sustainable transport including electric vehicles and sought their support in these areas.
Lyonchhen is in Brussels at the invitation of President of the European Commission. This is the first visit by a Bhutanese Prime Minister to the European Union.
Lyonchhen and his delegation arrived in the kingdom yesterday.