Nepal to raise mountain issues at UN climate summit

Nepal is likely to raise the issues of loss and damage associated with the effects of climate change and adversities faced by mountainous countries in the United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled to be held in Glasgow from November 1

May 30, 2021
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Nepal

Nepal is likely to raise the issues of loss and damage associated with the effects of climate change and adversities faced by mountainous countries in the United Nations Climate Change Conference scheduled to be held in Glasgow from November 1.

The 26th edition of the global conference will end on 12 November.

“As we prepare for effective participation in the event, we have decided to raise the issue of loss and damage for claiming its share of climate funds from the international community,” said Arun Prakash Bhatta, an undersecretary with the Ministry of Forests and Environment, The Kathmandu Post reported.

“The issue has not been raised strongly and has not received the attention it deserves. We have several instances where villages have had to relocate elsewhere and communities were displaced because the local water sources dried up, which could also be due to climate change. Such impacts should be discussed and recognized as negative consequences of climate change,” he said.

Bhatta pointed out that loss and damages due to climate change has added a burden on developing countries and their climate-vulnerable communities.

“If the temperatures continue to rise at the present rate, it will be challenging to adapt to the harsh impacts of climate change even if we receive climate finance. We have to seek loss and damage compensation as international support too.”

Nepal has been ranked as one of the highly vulnerable countries in terms of the adverse impacts of climate change, the report said.

The Nepalese government estimates that 1.5 to 2 percent annual loss of GDP is attributed to climate change, and this could increase to 13 percent by 2100 as projected by another study.

“The country’s unique topography with different elevation-based eco-regions, nature-based livelihoods, poverty and marginalization, and low adaptive and resilience capabilities further complicate climate change impacts,” said Bhatta. “Poor, indigenous marginalized, women, girls, children, disabled, and elderly groups are the most impacted by climate change.”

As a mountainous country, Nepal’s worry further escalates as impacts of climate change are felt strongly in the mountain region, where glaciers are melting at an increased rate due to rising temperatures.

Studies have shown that even if the global temperature rise is limited below 1.5 degrees by the end of the century, as agreed under the Paris Agreement, the temperature rise will be higher in the mountain regions.

“As a least-developed country, Nepal will be lobbying for limiting the temperature increase below 1.5. If we can’t limit the temperature surge then we can’t do much even if financial support is there.”

The Nepali side plans to push forward the mountain agenda by forming regional alliances of countries facing similar challenges. According to officials, they plan to submit such an agenda during the conference even if it might take years to achieve the goal of gaining global attention.

(SAM)

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