COP27: Nepal sets priority for climate adaptation, financing


Bhishma Raj Ojha, RSS (KATHMANDU, 13 October 2022) – Nepal is preparing to attend the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the UNFCCC on November 7-18.

During the session, Nepal being one of the countries highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change due to its sensitive geography prepares to raise issues concerning the impact of climate change on the mountain region with much priority. Climate change adaptation, damages and losses, and climate finance are among issues Nepal will be raising with priority.

Study shows that Nepal’s highland has witnessed the temperature rise by 1.8 degree Celsius when global warming is measured at 1 degree Celsius, the major consequence of greenhouse gas effect. The impact of climate change on the entire mountainous economy and the ecosystem there, and in the low-lying areas will be relatively the issues of priority of Nepal in the Conference scheduled to be held at Sharm el-Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt. The event was originally scheduled to take place from 8-20 November 2021, and it was however rescheduled for the given date, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nepal will participate in the Session with its special priorities on issues such as Climate change adaptation and reduction, climate finance, specific issues of mountain region and financing for climate losses and damages, according to the Ministry of Forest and Environment. Ministry’s Climate Change Management Division chief Dr Buddhisagar Poudel said Nepal prepares to put up issues about global goals in regard with climate adaptation in COP27. Nepal believes that the developed countries should ensure climate grants and finance to the countries like Nepal as per their expectations.

In addition to this, it will be demanding additional compensation for the losses and damages caused by climate change induced disasters. Adaptation means adapting to life in a changing climate while reduction means reducing carbon emissions, the major cause for greenhouse gas effect. During COP26, Nepal made a pledge to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2045. ‘Net zero emissions’ refers to achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions taken out of the atmosphere, according to the Climate Council. The Ministry has already gathered submissions from subject experts in multi-sectoral and multi-concerned bodies from government and non-government sectors. It also organised discussions with several groups to collect submissions for its preparation before taking part in the Summit.

The drafting of the status paper has neared the final phase while the Ministry is preparing for ‘side event’ and talks along with the major event. Stresses on implementation of past commitments Secretary of the Ministry, De Pem Narayan Kandel, said in the Conference, each country would make plan and strategy regarding how to reduce greenhouse gas on the matter of national commitment for the implementation of Paris Agreement. He said all the countries had already made a plan for the adaption regarding the impacts of global warming, and the conference is important for the implementation of the agreement of Glasgow conference. The temperature has increased due to greenhouse gas emission, resulting in the impacts of climate change. The past conference had determined to reduce greenhouse gas by 45 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. Similarly, in the Glasgow Conference, a proposal was presented to adopt clean, alternative and renewal energy as greenhouse gas emissions could not be reduced without completely ending the use of coal. But, an understanding was reached to phase down coal use instead of its phase out after countries like–China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Iran took the stance. Secretary Kandel shared that the issue of the implementation of past commitments, adaption and climate finance support would be in Nepal’s priority in the Conference. He mentioned, “Compensation for damages caused by the impact of climate change and climate finance support are the main agenda. We will raise these issues. Our demand is that subsidy should be provided after separating adaptation and damages.” ‘Clean energy’ is Nepal’s goal.

It would help with greenhouse gas emission reduction by transforming sources of all energy into clean energy. Kandel further said that Nepal has played a leading role in climate change reduction by forwarding sustainable forest management strategy. COP-27 ‘Implementation Conference’ Climate Change and Environment Advisor to the Prime Minister, Dr Madhav Bahadur Karki, said this conference has been considered as the implementation conference. “Our proposal will be on how the commitments by the developed countries are progressing. Two important documents have been prepared to implement our commitments,” he said. For this, the Ministry has already prepared the ‘climate finance strategy’ to implement commitments made during the NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) Implementation and COP26. The National Council for Environment Protection and Climate Change Management will endorse these documents, he said. In the conference, issues including assistances for financial cooperation, efficiency enhancement and technology development will be raised, he said.

Similarly, the management and transparency of the commitments done by developed countries to provide 100 million dollar to developing countries to fight the impacts of climate change by 2023 will be put up. Nepal along with various countries in the world has submitted its NDCs report. NDCs represent efforts by each country to reduce national emission and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The conference will prioritise required resources for the implementation of the report.