London: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has urged world leaders to recognize the specific climate vulnerability of the high Mountains and accord high priority to the mountain agenda in all climate-related negotiations. “Keeping the global temperature below 1.5° C is vital for mountain people. It is an issue of our survival”, he said.
Making a statement as Leader of Nepali Delegation at the World Leaders Summit during the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Glasgow today, he said with temperatures rising higher than global average, glaciers are receding, snowfall is decreasing and permafrost is melting in the Himalayan region. Extreme climate events are increasing, causing huge economic and ecological losses and precious human lives. “Around 80% of Nepal’s population is at risk from natural and climate-induced hazards. During the last 40 years, natural disasters have caused close to 6 billion USD physical and economic damages in my country alone,” the Prime Minister said.
Nepal has also called upon the Parties to agree on making Loss and Damage a stand-alone agenda for negotiations and support the framework of additional financing for it. The COP 26 must ensure adequate adaptation support for the most vulnerable countries by scaling up financial, technological and capacity-building support.
Stating that we can deliver on our goals only through quick, direct and easy access to climate finance, Prime Minister Deuba urged the Parties to agree on a clear roadmap for a new collective, quantified and ambitious goal on climate finance before 2025.
Loss and damage has become a key concern due to increased phenomena of climate induced disasters. This subject must find a place under article 4.8 of the Convention.
Sharing about Nepal’s efforts to balance development and climate actions, the Prime Minister said, “We have regulatory mechanisms to ensure that international climate finance is channeled to support transformational approaches in implementing adaptation, mitigation and disaster management actions together.”
“We are engaging with all stakeholders including private sector, indigenous people, disadvantaged communities, women and youth in all our climate actions. Recognizing the value of nature to both adapt and mitigate climate change, we have decided to create a dedicated institution for working on Nature Conservation and Climate Change together,” Deuba said.
Nepal has recently approved the Long Term Strategy on Loss and Damage and National Adaptation Plan and has a policy to spend at least 80% of the available climate finance to support local climate actions. “With abundant water, forest and biodiversity resources, Nepal can be a leader in sharing clean, green and nature-based climate solutions in the region”.
Prime Minister Deuba also expressed Nepal’s firm commitment to the implementation of Paris Agreement and shared that Nepal has submitted an ambitious NDC that plans to decarbonize our economy in all sectors, including an aim to reach a net zero emission by 2045. “We will ensure that 15 per cent of our total energy demand is supplied from clean energy sources and maintain 45 per cent of our country under forest cover by 2030”, he said.
Referring to rapid warming in the Himalaya posing serious threat to food, water, energy and human security of the entire region and glacier melting contributing to the existential threat to the coastal and island countries due to sea level rise, Prime Minister Deuba shared that Nepal government will host Sagarmatha Sambad – a dialogue named after Mt. Everest to raise awareness on the climate crisis in the Himalaya.
Prime Minister Deuba ended his statement by noting that the decisions to be made at COP 26 must do justice to those affected now, the future generations and the Mother Nature. “The future of our planet largely depends on what we decide at this conference”. (Bhisma Raj Ojha/RSS)