I am leaving for Cancun, Mexico, following a series of consultative meetings with various stakeholders, including other ministers, members of the civil society, experts and members of the National Planning Commission, ICIMOD and experts from the Least Developed Countries. We have organized our views now. This time Nepal has done a good preparation. I am leading a12-member ministerial delegation to take part in the summit of the United Nations Conference of Parties 16. I am going there not only as the minister of Nepal, but also as an authority to speak on behalf of the Least Developed Countries. As a chair of the Least Developed Countries in the United Nations, Nepal has many obligations and commitments towards them. Nepal is taking part very actively in the COP 16. Last year in Copenhagen, the head of the state and the head of the government took part. This time I am taking part as an environment minister. I am proud that we have made much progress in the last year at the national and international levels regarding climate change. We were able to raise issues of our vulnerabilities, risks, finances, challenges and problems and our overall situation.
Nepal will strongly raise the issues and problems faced by LDCs. This is a matter of pride for all of us. As a member, we know the challenges and problems faced by LDCs. We want financial resources committed by the developed countries to LDCs through Least Developed Countries Fund. Along with Nepal, countries of LDCs are in a very vulnerable position. Our stand on temperature rise is clear as it needs to reduce below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Although the LDCs produce very nominal amount of Green House Gases, they have to face all hostile situations. The developed countries which produce almost all Green House Gas pay for us. We want 1.5 percentage of their GDP as compensation from them. The money should be given to LDC fund so that we can use it as per our need. We will also raise the issue of transfer of technology and fund for adaptation.
One of the important occasions for us will be to host a reception to the representatives of 51 mountain countries. Of course, we don’t have a new agenda. As all other Least Developed Countries, our focus will be on finance, technology transfer and adaptation. Our discussions with various stakeholders will help us to promote our ideas and raise concerns.
My delegation includes members from the Ministry of Environment, the National Planning Commission and other ministries. I am proud to say that all of them are capable and knowledgeable. I don’t know the number of participation from the civil society sector who are already there on their own. I have realized that taking part in such a Conference alone is not as important as it is to make sure how much we ge in return for the country as well as for Least Developed Countries.
It is an honor and pride for me to lead the team. I have very strong group of experts in the Ministry. I think our efforts will be stronger for COP 17 in South Africa. Nepal has strong stand in all global issues. We will raise our concern very strongly in the meeting of Developing Countries as well as Least Developed countries group. As Nepal is a party which supports Kyoto protocol, we have taken a very good stand. Our middle stand of 1.5 degrees Celsius on temperature rise is accepted by all. I don’t know how politically they agree on 2 degree Celsius but those who defended 2 degree Celsius are regretting their earlier stand. Even to maintain the 1.5 degree Celsius temperature, there is a need of a huge investment and new technologies. Some countries are arguing for less than this.
We are not going to put across any new agenda and decision. Nepal took several steps in the last one year that is very important. We are hosting a big gathering of the environment ministers of 51 countries in Cancun on December 4 which is going to be very important. We will discuss our agenda for ministerial meeting of Mountain Alliance in March. Whether it is in the leadership of Mountain Alliance Countries or Least Developed Countries or a country taking stand on 1.5 degree Celsius temperature, we are in the right position. If we go with right cause, we can make a lot of progress.
We have done a lot of work in the last one year. We have already produced NAPA and we are now making National Climate Change Policy and Environment Department and are formulating program for Pilot Project for Climate Change Resistance, (PPCR). Our program is going to be all over Nepal. We need support from all. The support given by Nepal’s development partners and donor communities is also very important in this regard. They have been supporting us and we need their support. I don’t think Cancun will solve all the problems but I am confident that it will at least agree on the matters of finance and technology transfer.
I am heading to Cancun with the hope and confidence. I am clear on the question of fund as we need our direct access to fund so that we can launch program to affected population. Our focus will be LDCs. As you know, the countries of the LDCs are the most vulnerable to the effect of climate change. The people living in these countries are punished for not committing any crime. I think the time has come for the developed countries to fulfill the political commitment they have made. The LDCs whether they are in mountains or in islands, they are the most vulnerable because of the rise of temperature. As Nepal is taking the leadership of Mountain Alliance countries, we want recognition from around the world.
Nepal has four important agenda. First of all, as a chair of Least Developed Countries, our focus will be on the problems of LDCs and their demands. We will appeal to the global community for the issue of finance, technology transfer and challenges. The fund should be channeled through LDC Fund for the people of LDCs. Being a leader of Mountain Alliance Country , we will also raise the problems of mountainous countries. Other important issues will be to stress our stand of below 1.5 degree Celsius temperature.
(Sharma is a Minister of Environment. This is an expert of his views shared with Keshab Poudel before leaving for Cancun)