• बिहीबार ४-१०-२०८१/Thursday 07-25-2024

Nepal’s Achievements at COP 28: Leading Climate Action

December 17, 2023

The United Nations organizes an annual meeting to discuss climate change. At the recently concluded annual climate meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP 28, world leaders discussed the issue of dealing with climate change. This conference was held in Dubai, UAE from November 30 to December 12.


Nepal is also among the countries that signed the United Nations Climate Change Convention of 1992. The member states of the United Nations have committed to make all citizens aware and responsible to achieve sustainable development goals. One of the 17 sustainable development goals to be achieved by 2030 is to reduce the impact of climate change.


In this year’s COP held in Dubai, the Nepal government has mainly put forward climate finance, its damage, adaptation, mountain issues, technology and capacity building, mitigation, carbon trading, global stock tech, transparency, children, youth and gender issues. In the COP-27 held in Egypt last year, Nepal made damage reduction, adaptation, climate finance, mountain issues, mitigation, etc. the main issue and Nepal remained firm in its stand that poor countries should get compensation for the problems they face due to climate change.


A new fund was also established to address this demand. Through this fund, rich countries have committed to pay 500 billion dollars as compensation every year. But even now, neither a country like Nepal has received the promised amount, nor has there been any reduction in carbon dioxide gas emissions.


In (Cop 28), the documentary ‘The Plea of ​​Mountain’ covering the damage caused by climate in Nepal was also screened. In the documentary, the effects of the melting of the mountains including Everest and Annapurna on people’s lives were also covered due to climate change in Manang, Mustang, Sindhupalchok’s Helambu, Melamchi, Dolpa’s Phoksundo, Terai Madhesh and the floods and landslides. Since the voices of the residents of the affected areas are included in the documentary, it can be considered that Nepal has attracted special attention for climate justice. In that meeting, the governments of nearly 200 countries of the world discussed how to limit the climate change that may occur in the future and how to prepare for it.


In a program organized by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on the occasion of COP 28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres raised the issue of the climate crisis in the Himalayas and its terrible impact on the lives of local communities. During his address, he said, “I was shocked to learn how fast the glaciers of the Himalayas are melting and it was deeply painful to hear directly from the local communities about the terrible impact on the lives of the local communities.”


In an event held in Dubai, Guterres said, “Nepal and other vulnerable mountain countries are going through a crisis they cannot face. The country has lost nearly a third of its ice in more than 30 years. It is a direct result of greenhouse gas pollution that is warming our planet.”


During his stay in Nepal, Secretary General Guterres promised to raise the issue of the climate crisis in the Himalayas and its impact on local communities. He said that the country responsible for causing this crisis should compensate Nepal. Explaining how the climate crisis is making things worse, Guterres said swollen lakes and rivers are flooding entire communities. This means that rising seas threaten communities around the world.


Nepal’s Remarkable Presence at COP 28

The Nepali delegation led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ left for United Arab Emirates UAE on 29 November to participate in the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP-28). With Nepal’s participation in COP-28, Nepal represented the least developed country with the presidency. The Nepali team took the initiative of requiring developed countries to provide financial support for climate-sustaining development and easy access to damage and loss funds to least developed and small countries such as Nepal, which have suffered from the effects of climate change.


Prime Minister Prachanda also participated in a high-level meeting called the World Climate Action Conference during the 13-day COP conference. Likewise, on December 2, Prime Minister Prachanda participated in a high-level meeting called ‘Call of the Mountains: Who Saved Us from the Crisis’, which was a remarkable approach. Nepal, one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world, has lost nearly one-third of its glaciers in the past 30 years, which is 65 percent more between 2010 and 2019 than the previous decade.


When global warming is measured by 1 degree Celsius, the average temperature in the hilly areas of the country has increased up to 1.8 degrees due to which the snows of the mountains are melting and turning into black rocky stones. Rising temperatures, drought and heavy monsoon rains in the Terai region have had a significant impact on agricultural productivity. Crops have been damaged and livestock and their products have been affected, especially in Terai and mid-hill areas. Weather patterns have been unpredictable. Natural disasters such as floods, landslides and glacial lake outbursts claim or disrupt countless lives.


Amidst these worrying developments, the fact that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres pulled out of his visit to Nepal in October also helped make Nepal a global pavilion. During Secretary General Guterres’ 4-day visit to Nepal, climate change and the problems faced by the Himalayas were among the important agendas. During his stay in Nepal, he also visited Everest base camp and Annapurna trail. After returning from there, he addressed the Parliament of Nepal and drew the attention of the world community to the effects of climate change on Nepal.


During the visit, Guterres also visited the Everest region, Pokhara, Annapurna base camp and talked with the locals. During that time, he heard the experiences of the locals regarding the effects of climate change. He also spoke about the effects of climate change in the Federal Parliament and internationalized the issue of Nepal in the crisis of climate change and attracted the attention of the world.


As a result, Guterres also reiterated the seriousness of the crisis Nepal is facing in the high-level discussion chaired by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Dubai. In his speech at COP 28, Guterres said that it is essential for the world community to support Nepal and other countries that do not contribute to climate change but suffer the consequences. He once again drew the world’s attention to Nepal when he said that the mountains are crying for help and Cope 28 should respond.


Apart from this, at the beginning of the conference, not only the issues related to Himalayas was discussed, but also given priority. However, what was different this time is that the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s visit to Nepal on the eve of COP-28 and Nepal’s high priority at the beginning of the conference also made Nepal’s issue discussed on the world stage. Not only Prime Minister Prachanda, but also Minister of Forests and Environment Dr. Birendra Prasad Mahato has said that (COP-28) is an achievement for Nepal.  They are of the opinion that the result of the presentation of the ‘One Door Windows System’ at the conference is an achievement for Nepal.


As Nepal is a mountainous country and the head of the Himalayas, it is a well-known fact that climate change and global warming are affecting it rapidly. In COP-28, the Prime Minister’s ability to put the serious impact on the livelihoods and lifestyles of mountain people and the agenda of the mountains in a strong manner before the heads of state/government of nearly 200 countries is definitely the first success for Nepal. Therefore, Nepal must formulate a clear policy on how to proceed with the damage caused by finance and prepare to deal with future ecological problems.

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