Bhutan’s is “carbon negative”. Impressive!

 

I regularly watch or listen to podcasts to learn a particular subject and to be enlightened by different views.

This Ted talk by the Prime Minister of Bhutan caught me. Bhutan, a small 700 000 population country, is thriving inside out. Its development is based on “Gross National Happiness” and it is carbon negative!

Everyone should watch this talk by PM Tshering Tobgay. Bhutan walks the talk of “borrowing the future from our children”!

Like Bhutan, Malaysia is one of the 194 countries that have committed themselves to the Paris Agreement where we need to limit the increase in global average temperature, by fostering climate resilience and low greenhouse development.

In our technology foresight for the automotive sector towards 2050, we are expecting vehicles with greater fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions.

In approximately 35 years time, we may fully migrate to autonomous vehicles starting with Hybrid Electric Vehicle taking off globally by 2020, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by 2025, and Battery Electric and Fuel Cell Vehicle by 2030.

In my previous column entitled “Green Growth for Our Cities”, I shared several examples of home grown green technologies. One is the cost-effective non-welding technique for battery assembly in electric vehicles.

Developed by Eclimo, it is reported by Frost & Sullivan to be 67 per cent superior to the ultrasonic welding technique used by industry giants such as Tesla. A hundred of electric scooters incorporating this battery production technology were exported to Cambodia for eco-friendly tourism such as in Angkor Wat area.

At the 71st Meeting of the Asean Committee on Science and Technology and, the 9th Informal Asean Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology (IAMMST-9) in Cambodia last October, I had the opportunity to bring several Asean Ministers on a ride on this scooter.

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Eclimo’s scooter in Cambodia.

We agreed that the mass production of electric vehicles would depend on the entire automotive ecosystem, and the government has to formulate new policy instruments for e-mobility.

Bhutan’s government had showed that it is possible:

“We are providing free electricity to our rural farmers. The idea is that, with free electricity, they will no longer have to use firewood to cook their food. We are investing in sustainable transport and subsidizing the purchase of electric vehicles. Similarly, we are subsidizing the cost of LED lights, and our entire government is trying to go paperless.We are cleaning up our entire country through Clean Bhutan, a national program, and we are planting trees throughout our country through Green Bhutan, another national program.”

Kudos to Bhutan. Let Bhutan be the norm, not the exception!

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