The Paris Agreement requires global GHG emissions to peak as soon as possible “and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of [GHGs] in the second half of this century” (Paris Agreement, Article 4). It is mainly for this reason that the Climate Action Tracker rates mitigation pledges excluding LULUCF (Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry). Moreover, LULUCF is currently a source of global emissions, and mitigation measures in this sector are subject to uncertainty and difficult to assess.
In this context, Bhutan sits in the unusual position of being carbon neutral today, with carbon sinks balancing for sources of emissions. In other words, Bhutan has already reached a target that the Paris Agreement requires (globally) only for mid-century.
For this reason, we decided to upgrade Bhutan to “2°C compatible,” despite its NDC technically falling into the “Insufficient” rating. At the same time, we note a concern that projected increasing energy and industry emissions could bring Bhutan into a difficult position for the long-term low-carbon transition, risking a breakdown of its carbon neutrality. Indeed, there is room for enhancing Bhutan’s level of ambition, which should be the “highest possible” in light of “different national circumstances” (Paris Agreement, Article 4.3), for example by setting a target excluding LULUCF.
Further information about the risks and impacts associated with the temperature levels of each of the categories is available here.