Nepal’s resolute call for climate action at COP28
Nepal urged the developed countries to mandatorily scale up climate finance to make up for the $100bn shortfall and double the adaptation finance by 2025, and ensure fair financial arrangements without conditions, constraints, and compliances
Dubai: Nepal has put forth its key climate priorities at the global climate conference COP28 being held at Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In several platforms, high-level government officials, including Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal stated that developed countries’ pledges and actions do not correspond with each other and they must raise their ambitions and urgently fulfill their commitments.
Nepal also urged the developed countries to scale up climate finance to make up for the $100bn shortfall and double the adaptation finance by 2025, and ensure fair financial arrangements without conditions, constraints, and compliances.
Nepal, as the chair of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), said the loss and damage fund must be predictable, simplified, and adequate for LDCs and mountainous countries. The Global Stocktake (GST) report must give a clear roadmap to all, and every country must act in solidarity with urgency, demanded Nepal. Nepal also emphasized the necessity of initiating a dialogue on mountain and climate change. In a positive development, COP28 has launched a Loss and Damage Fund.
Prime Minister Dahal, while addressing the opening of ‘National Statements,’a high-level segment of COP28, demanded a six-point list. He conveyed to the global community that Nepal, despite playing a minimal role in greenhouse gas emissions, is among the most severely affected by climate change.
“I bring a message from 30m Nepalis to this conference, crystal clear: Our mountains endure the torment of escalating temperatures. Their preservation is paramount—save them first!” stressed Dahal. Highlighting the significance of the Himalayas, he said, “These mountains serve as the bedrock of human civilizations, ecosystems, and biodiversity. They provide essential global services to people and the planet, serving as the lifeblood for billions of individuals downstream.”
Dahal reaffirmed Nepal’s dedication to the Paris Agreement, stating, “We are resolutely committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, five years ahead of the global target.”
A report recently published by the UN Climate Change shows that national climate action plans (known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs) would collectively lower greenhouse gas emissions to two percent below 2019 levels by 2030, while the science is clear that a 43 percent reduction is needed.
The GST must be a catalyst for greater ambition in meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals as nations prepare to submit revised national climate action plans by 2025. It lays out actions on how to accelerate emissions cuts, strengthen resilience to climate impacts, and provide the support and finance needed for the transformation.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres also prominently highlighted Nepal in his addresses.
“Just days ago, I was on the melting ice of Antarctica. Not long before, I witnessed the melting glaciers of Nepal. Despite the vast distance between these two locations, they are united in facing a common crisis,” he said.
Nepal also organized a high-level roundtable discussion, titled ‘Call of mountains: Who saves us from the climate crisis’ chaired by Prime Minister Dahal.
During his address in the roundtable, he said, “While mountains matter for identity and dignity, ecological and environmental integrity, and humanity, Nepal hosts the highest place in the world, Mt Everest, and is facing the crisis posed by climate change, more and more than others.”
Dahal further said that climate change impacts, irrespective of color, castes, and social wellbeing of the people, and also the economic condition of the countries, it affects disproportionately.
The roundtable was held with the aim to protect and promote the mountains, mountain civilization, mountain ecosystems, and inhabitants of mountains and seeks to garner collaboration and solidarity to tackle the common challenges posed by climate change in the mountains.
“Together, we can reach far and accomplish more in our journey of climate justice. It is with absolute confidence that Nepal has hosted this event to pave the way for advanced solutions for the mountains and people living there,” Dahal said. “I strongly recommend the necessity of initiating a dialogue on mountain and climate change to realize the grief of the mountainous communities, find possible solutions, and bring them out of trouble.”
Prime Minister of Andorra Xavier Espot Zamora, UN Secretary General Guterres, and representatives from mountainous countries Kyrgyz Republic, Bhutan, Slovenia, Montenegro including representatives from United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and climate analytics were present.
Guterres expressed his deep concern, stating, “It is profoundly alarming to observe the rapid melting of Nepal’s mountains. Hearing firsthand from local communities about the devastating impact on their lives is deeply distressing.”
“Nepal, along with other vulnerable mountainous nations, is bearing the brunt of a crisis not of their making. Over just 30 years, the country has lost nearly a third of its ice, a direct consequence of greenhouse gas pollution warming our planet. This loss results in swollen lakes and rivers that flood, washing away entire communities,” he emphasized.
The UN secretary-general warned that without a change in course, catastrophic consequences loom.
“The glaciers face the risk of complete disappearance, leading to significantly reduced flows in major Himalayan rivers such as the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra, along with the decimation of deltas by encroaching saltwater.”
Highlighting the urgent need for collaboration between governments, countries, and corporations to curb emissions, Guterres stressed the importance of protecting everyone on Earth with an effective early warning system by 2027. He singled out Nepal as a crucial candidate for implementing such a system, stating, “The mountains are signaling a distress call. COP28 must respond with a rescue plan. Let us collectively devote our efforts to ensure that actionable steps emerge from the COP.”
Prime Minister Dahal expressed his satisfaction following Guterres’ mention of Nepal during the high-level meetings. “In his opening speech, Guterres highlighted Nepal and Antarctica, which brings us immense joy,” he remarked.
Speaking at the Nepal Pavilion in COP28, Dahal emphasized that the concerns and priorities of Nepal and other mountainous nations have now become integral to global agendas.
Dahal urged the Nepali delegation to actively engage in bilateral and multilateral discussions, as well as sideline meetings throughout the conference, stressing their paramount importance.
He also underlined the role of Nepali youths in addressing the climate crisis. “Our young generation possesses significant potential and should assertively advocate for climate justice.”
Nepal has been organizing various events at its pavilion including ‘Financing Nepal’s NDC implementation plan’, ‘Putting health at center of climate action’, and ‘L&D and resilient recovery: What Nepal needs’ among others. Nepalis participating at COP28 have also been actively engaged at the sideline events organized by pavilions of other countries and organizations.
Nepal’s six-point demand at COP28
- Developed countries’ pledges and actions do not correspond with each other. They must raise their ambitions and fulfill their commitments urgently.
- They must scale up climate finance to make up for the $100bn shortfall and double the adaptation finance by 2025, and ensure fair financial arrangements without conditions, constraints, and compliances.
- We demand grants as our justice to address this crisis.
- The loss and damage Fund must be predictable, simplified, and adequate for LDCs and mountainous countries.
- The GST report must give a clear roadmap to all, and we must act in solidarity with urgency.
- The necessity of initiating a dialogue on mountain and climate change.
Climate action gains momentum, but falls short of critical targets
Businesses, investors, cities, states, and regions are increasingly taking action on climate change, yet the pace and scale of these efforts fall short of what’s necessary to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as highlighted in the 2023 edition of the Yearbook of Global Climate Action released during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28).
“Acceleration of climate action is imperative across the board. Comprehensive transformation of systems, encompassing energy, transportation, our interaction with nature, and societal structures, is crucial to swiftly curbing emissions and fostering resilience,” said Simon Stiell, the executive secretary of UN Climate Change. “Enhanced collaboration between Parties and non-Party stakeholders presents an opportunity for significant advancements towards our shared climate objectives.”
The 2023 Yearbook, the seventh installment in the series, has presented an overview of the progress, trends, and challenges pertaining to tangible climate action undertaken by non-party stakeholders.
The report has highlighted that the Global Climate Action Portal—a platform monitoring worldwide climate initiatives—now boasts over 32,000 registered participants, signifying a six percent increase from the 2022 figures and nearly sixfold growth since 2015. However, gaps persist, both in terms of broadening the geographical coverage and scope of climate action within the portal itself, and in the diversity of solutions pursued by non-party stakeholders.
“Efficient implementation, aligned with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, stands as our collective objective, guided by the principles of climate justice. The global stocktake presents an opportunity for united progress,” the book includes.
- Climate action needs to align with the goal of keeping the 1.5 degrees Celsius climate-resilient world within reach.
- The opportunities to accelerate climate action exist, but need to be scaled up.
- Non-party stakeholders are key partners in ramping up climate action and ambition.
- Credibility of action and commitments of non-party stakeholders need to be systematically ensured.
- International cooperation across sectors and actors—guided by the principle of climate justice—is instrumental in systems-transformation.
- Climate action should not be siloed.
- Fair finance flows are needed now.
March 1, 2024, 1:29 p.m.
March 1, 2024, 9:18 a.m.
Feb. 29, 2024, 1:26 p.m.
Feb. 29, 2024, 11:46 a.m.
Feb. 29, 2024, 10:20 a.m.
Feb. 28, 2024, 12:40 p.m.
Feb. 28, 2024, 11:41 a.m.
Feb. 28, 2024, 9:56 a.m.