International support must for Nepal to fight climate change: Experts

  • A government team to attend Poland meet as preparation for COP24

Nov 19, 2018-

Experts, discussion negotiators and a group of stakeholders working in the field of climate change have urged the government to strive for securing financial and technological support from the international community in its fight against climate change.

Nepal, as one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, is due to take part in the global conference on climate change next month in Katowice, Poland.  

During the consultation programme considered as part of government’s preparation for the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), climate experts have called on the government to raise its concerns strongly at the gathering and seek required assistance for tackling adverse effects of climate change.

Siddhartha Bajra Bajracharya, executive director of the National Trust

for Nature Conservation, pointed out that Nepal had not been able to receive international support that it deserves in view of the challenges it faces.

“As one of the most climate change vulnerable countries in the world, we should put in extra efforts for receiving financial and technical support,” said Bajracharya, adding that the delegation participating in the COP24 should again strongly raise the issue of melting Himalayas due to climate change.  

Nepal has prepared a Status Paper for COP24 incorporating possible impacts to the mountainous nation, its efforts so far, policies and programmes, and challenges. The Nepali delegation, led by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, will also take part in various events on the sidelines during the conference.

Senior Meteorologist with Department of Hydrology and Meteorology Archana Shrestha said Nepal’s claims at the international meetings should be backed by strong evidences.

“For our climate change negotiations, there should be strong backing of science.

Our discussion at the conference should be based on scientific assessments,” urged Shrestha.   

The upcoming COP24 is perceived significant for global fight against climate change as this event is mandated to prepare the rulebook or the required framework for implementation of the Paris Agreement 2015, which was seen as a landmark accord to combat climate change and intensify global action.

However, international politics, especially Trump administration’s intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, has affected global action towards implementation of the Paris accord.

“Negotiations have slowed down after the Paris conference affecting only poor and climate change-hit countries like Nepal as it has blocked their access to climate finance support,” said Madhav B Karki, Natural Resource Management and Climate Change Adaptation specialist and a board member of the Centre for Green Economy Development, Nepal.

Karki suggested the President should utilise the COP24 as an opportunity to highlight country’s efforts and transition towards clean energy or electric mobility.

The Paris Agreement or COP21 has urged developed countries to set up a joint fund and contribute $100 billion annually by 2020 to assist climate vulnerable least developed and small island nation mitigate and adapt to climate change.

However, there has been no clear mechanism regarding fund set up and countries like Nepal has struggled to access Green Climate Fund (GCF), a financial mechanism under the UNFCCC that provides financial assistance for low-emission and climate-resilient development of developing countries.

Sharing Nepal’s preparation for the summit, Maheshwar Dhakal, chief of Climate Change Management Division under the Ministry of Forest and Environment, admitted Nepal’s difficulties in securing international assistance.

“We are facing a challenge accessing climate finance and then taking it to our people at the grassroots level who are highly vulnerable to changing climate,” said Dhakal. “If we don’t receive climate finance for capacity building and strengthening our infrastructure, it could have drastic impacts on our infrastructure and vulnerable communities.”

According to him, the government has devised a three-pronged strategy—building climate resilience, shifting towards low-carbon economy and strengthening climate diplomacy—to deal with climate change.

Manjeet Dhakal, an advisor to Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group, who has closely observed global climate change negotiations over the years, said poor countries like Nepal and other small island nations can gain financial and technical support from the international community after closely coordinating with members of LDC and G77 that includes countries like China, India, Saudi Arabia and most of the Latin American countries.

Published: 19-11-2018 07:06

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