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Nepal steps up preps for COP28

PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal is slated to attend the 28th Conference of Parties starting from Nov 30 to Dec 12 in Dubai

Nepal steps up preps for COP28

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is scheduled to attend the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), starting from Nov 30 to Dec 12 in Dubai. The Ministry of Forest and Environment said preparations are underway for Dahal’s visit, planned from Nov 29 to Dec 4. 

On Dec 2, Prime Minister Dahal will address the high-level session scheduled for Dec 1 and 2, which will feature addresses by heads of state/government from around the world.

Nepal has intensified preparations for the conference. To finalize Nepal’s agendas, the ministry has announced a ‘National Climate Conference’ set to take place in Kathmandu on Nov 21.

The conference will delve into discussions regarding the National Adaptation Plan, the implementation plan based on the Nationally Determined Contributions, and the agenda for COP28.

Buddhi Sagar Paudel, Head of the ministry’s Climate Change Management Division, mentioned that senior officials from the ministry, chief ministers, heads and officers of concerned organizations, development partners, media representatives and others will partake in the program.

The ministry has already devised a roadmap for Nepal’s engagement at the conference and has been working accordingly. Joint Secretary Paudel stated, “For the conference preparations, a committee comprising secretaries of relevant ministries and key representatives of other concerned bodies, under the guidance of the minister, has been formed. Efforts have been made to gather suggestions.” 

Additionally, under the department’s leadership, a working group comprising representatives of line ministries has made significant progress in crafting the ‘National Position Paper’ for COP28 through coordination and consultations with stakeholders, he added.

Thematic groups covering topics like climate adaptation, mitigation, finance, loss and damage, global measurement and transparency, mountains, gender equality, young children and tribes have already taken shape.

As part of preparations for Nepal’s agendas at the COP28 conference, the ministry has established an expert group focusing on six core areas: Climate finance, adaptation, transfer of mountain technology and capacity-building, loss and damage, gender, youth, children, climate empowerment, and mitigation of climate change effects.

Nepal has prioritized specific issues for this conference, including climate finance, adaptation strategies, managing funds for climate-related loss and damage, addressing mountain-related concerns, reducing emissions and fostering inclusivity.

The ministry announced Nepal’s plan to set up a pavilion at the conference venue to host its programs. They anticipate more than 34 programs, covering diverse subjects, with a schedule of four programs per day at the pavilion from Dec 3 to 11. This marks the first instance where various national and international organizations will conduct programs at the pavilion, focusing on Nepal’s highlighted issues.

Experts in the field anticipate that the events held at the pavilion will effectively showcase Nepal’s concerns and help raise awareness and support for these critical issues.

On the eve of the conference, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres paid a four-day official visit to Nepal from Oct 29 to Nov 1. Nepali officials believe that Guterres’ priority on climate change, exhibited during the visit, will also make it easier for highlighting problems facing Nepal at the global stage.

During his visit, Guterres highlighted the critical issue of climate change in the Himalayas, emphasizing the alarming rate at which glaciers are melting. He drew parallels to regions like Greenland and Antarctica, pointing at rising sea levels and other visible impacts in the form of floods, landslides and consequential disruptions to communities. Guterres emphasized the urgency of climate action, stating, “We must stop this madness. We must move forward with climate action.”

Highlighting Nepal’s challenges, he noted that the country’s glaciers had melted 65 percent faster in the last decade than in the previous one. 

To better understand the real impact of climate change on local livelihoods, Guterres engaged with residents of Khumbu Pasang Lhamu rural municipality-4 in Solukhumbu district. This interaction allowed him to comprehend firsthand how climate change has multifaceted effects on their daily lives. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dahal has affirmed his commitment to assert Nepal’s stance and views on the impact of climate change directly at COP28. Speaking at an event organized on Saturday by the Nepal Mountaineering Association to hand over the peace torch at the Sagarmatha base camp, Dahal emphasized the need to assert rights rather than relying solely on supplication.

He highlighted Nepal’s stance, stressing that those responsible for carbon emissions must take greater accountability and contribute to the climate fund. Nepal, in the global climate discourse, aims to claim its rights rather than seek mere assistance.

Moreover, the Prime Minister recalled the recent visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Khumbu region, citing it as a reminder to the world about pressing issues. He noted Guterres’ visit, during which he inspected the impacts of climate change and engaged with local residents and representatives. Dahal highlighted the significant contribution of Guterres’ visit in highlighting the climate change challenges facing the region on a global scale.

During the second Voice of Global South Summit also, Prime Minister Dahal reiterated that climate change poses a significant threat to humanity. He affirmed Nepal’s unwavering dedication to implementing the Paris Agreement, emphasizing the country’s measures aimed at safeguarding and sustainably managing natural resources. “Nepal is actively engaged in effective adaptation and mitigation strategies and has expressed commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2045 through the promotion of green initiatives,” he added.

Agendas for COP28

  • Climate finance: Strategies and mechanisms to secure funding for climate-related initiatives, focusing on sustainable development and resilience against climate change impacts
  • Adaptation: Developing and implementing strategies to adapt to changing climatic conditions, emphasizing resilience-building measures
  • Transfer of mountain technology and capacity-building: Facilitating the transfer of relevant technologies suitable for mountainous regions and enhancing the capacity of local communities to manage and adapt to climate change
  • Loss and damage: Addressing the impacts of climate change-induced loss and damage, including measures to mitigate and manage these effects
  • Gender, youth, children, climate empowerment: Promoting inclusivity and empowerment of marginalized groups such as women, youth, and children in climate action and decision-making processes
  • Mitigation of the effects of climate change: Implementing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change through various measures and initiatives