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Help Nepal combat climate crisis

Help Nepal combat climate crisis

Nepal and other small nations, despite their negligible contributions to carbon emissions, bear the brunt of climate change impacts disproportionately. This inequity underscores a harsh reality: While larger, more industrialized nations emit the lion’s share of greenhouse gasses, it is the smaller, less developed countries that suffer the most severe consequences. 

In Nepal, the effects are palpable—from melting glaciers to increasingly erratic monsoon patterns and heightened vulnerability to natural disasters. This disparity highlights the urgent need for global solidarity and concerted action to address climate change, ensuring that all nations, regardless of their size or level of development, are supported in mitigating and adapting to its effects.

The assertion that war contributes to carbon emissions highlights a sobering reality: While conflicts may be waged by powerful nations, their repercussions extend far beyond, affecting even peace-loving countries like Nepal. Despite not being directly involved in conflicts, Nepal, like many other nations, has to grapple with the environmental fallout of warfare, such as increased emissions from military activities and the destruction of natural habitats.

Given this context, there’s a compelling argument for developed nations to step up and support countries like Nepal in combating the climate crisis. Climate finance, in particular, emerges as a crucial mechanism through which developed nations can fulfill their responsibility to assist vulnerable countries in mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts. Concrete data on the extent of glacial melting or changes in monsoon patterns could enhance the clarity and make the argument in favor of climate finance more powerful.

The recent devastating floods in countries like the US, the UAE, Oman and China serve as poignant reminders of the urgent need to prioritize climate change. These catastrophic events underscore the increasingly severe impacts of climate change on communities and economies worldwide.

Nepal recently convened the ‘International Dialogue on Mountains, People, and Climate,’ a crucial platform where stakeholders voiced their apprehensions regarding the escalating adverse effects of climate change on the Himalayas. Urgent action to mitigate these impacts was fervently advocated for, drawing the attention of the international community to this pressing issue. For instance, Bangladesh’s Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, expressed grave concerns about the existential threat due to snow-melting in the Nepal Himalayas due to climate change.

Emphasizing the criticality of swift and decisive action, the minister underscored the necessity of adopting timely measures and maintaining heightened vigilance to mitigate the looming impact of climate change. He stressed the imperative of minimizing climate change’s adverse effects and bolstering adaptation efforts to fortify climate resilience, not just for Bangladesh but for all vulnerable regions across the globe.

During COP28 also, Nepal successfully globalized its agenda, amplifying its voice on the international stage. The visit of United Nations’ Secretary-General António Guterres to Nepal further bolstered this effort, providing a crucial platform to elevate Nepali concerns to the global forefront. His visit not only signaled solidarity with Nepal’s cause but also helped to galvanize international support and attention toward addressing the unique challenges faced by mountainous regions.

In this context, engaging ambassadors and diplomats stationed in Nepal to advocate for global attention to Nepal’s environmental concerns is indeed a strategic move with potential far-reaching benefits. These diplomatic figures can leverage their positions to draw attention to Nepal’s pressing environmental issues and rally support from the international community.

Diplomats like Dean R Thompson, the US’ Ambassador to Nepal, whose personal appreciation for Nepal’s natural beauty is evident, can serve as influential advocates for environmental conservation efforts. Their advocacy can help elevate Nepal’s environmental priorities on the global stage and encourage collaborative initiatives to address pressing challenges.

Furthermore, the involvement of neighboring giants like China and India is crucial, given their direct stake in Nepal’s environmental well-being. As Nepal shares critical ecological resources and biodiversity hotspots with its neighbors, cooperation among these nations is essential for effective environmental management and conservation.

Recognizing the inseparable link between the environment and human health is paramount. The impacts of the climate crisis are becoming increasingly apparent, affecting not only the natural world but also humanity and livelihoods.

As the effects of climate change intensify, with rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and environmental degradation, the health and resilience of both the environment and the people are at stake. Addressing the climate crisis is therefore not only an environmental imperative but also a critical public health priority.

By working together to save Nepal’s natural treasures, we can help ensure a healthier and more sustainable future for all Nepalis and the planet as a whole.

The author, a member of the Supreme Court Bar, has been practicing corporate law for around three decades