Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) participated in the 17 sessions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) from 1995 to 2011 to review, negotiate, and make decisions for the effective implementation of the Convention. Its 18th session, starting 26 of November, will last till 7 December 2012, at Doha, Qatar. Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (KP) also meet at its 8th session of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP) during the same period. The High-level Segment – a forum usually addressed by the Heads of the States or Governments or the concerned Ministers, will be held from 5 to 7 December 2012.
The COPs and CMPs are the supreme and authoritative bodies of the Convention and the Protocol. There will be seven separate sessions with a number of agenda items at Doha to discuss on climate regime. They are: (i) 18th session of the COP; (ii) 8th session of the CMP; (iii) 37th session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI); (iv) 37th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA); (v) Ad-hoc Working (AWG) on Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA); (vi) AWG on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties to the KP; and (vii) AWG on Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP). In these sessions, there often are a number of outstanding issues waiting for decisions. Draft decisions or the conclusions of the subsidiary bodies and AWGs will be forwarded to COP18 or CMP8 for decisions which will guide the implementation of the Convention and the KP.
Climate change and its impacts could be minimized by reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions at source as science suggests. The GHGs reduction is possible through the concerted efforts of the developed and industrialized countries and economically fast growing developing countries. The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), even if they participate in GHGs emissions reduction, will have no significant impact on global atmospheric concentration of GHGs. However, LDCs and SIDS will be continuously impacted due to adverse effects of climate change due to their low adaptive capacity, lack of financial resources and technologies, and inadequate knowledge and skill to deal with climate change impacts.
This ground reality should be understood. Based on Nepalese experience, developed countries are willing to support the implementation of the climate change activities in general and climate adaptation in particular. As Nepal might not be in a position to allocate necessary budget for climate adaptation, and taking into consideration her vulnerabilities to climate change, time has come to identify and define support needs and negotiate with our development partners to let the people adapt to climate change effects. The financial support provided by DfID and EU for the implementation of NAPA (National Adaptation Programme of Action) prioritized programme through the use of a National Framework on LAPA (Local Adaptation Plan for Action) in 14 climate vulnerable districts of mid- and far western development region will, hopefully, provide a basis for our future course of action on climate adaptation. Although, funding accessed for other programmes of NAPA through the LDC Fund is taking much time than normally required, they might also provide what adaptation options work and what does not in Nepalese soil once they are implemented.
Durban Climate Change Conference in 2011 decided for the closure of the AWG-KP and the AWG-LCA by COP18 in 2012 but there are several outstanding issues to resolve. Regarding KP issues, the Doha Climate Change Conference will focus its negotiation, inter alia, on the length of the second commitment period of the KP (either 5 or 8 years), and provisional application for its entry into force (as Parties will have no time to ratify or access or approve or accept the KP by 2012). Similarly, AWG-LCA has to decide, inter alia, on finances including the operationalization of the Green Climate Fund, outstanding issues related to adaptation, technology and capacity building, and review of long-term temperature goal. Furthermore SBI and SBSTA have several agenda to negotiate and decide, inter alia, on existing funds, matters related to LDCs, national communication, CDM, capacity building etc for the effective implementation of the Convention and the KP. The ADP will need to negotiate how to move ahead to have a post-2020 legal instrument by 2015 to raise the level of mitigation ambition for protecting the Mother Earth and get continued services from the Planet.
Nepal As LDC
Nepal is expected to participate in climate negotiation within the broader positions of the 48 LDCs. Besides, Nepal has made two submissions – one is related to service charge of the GEF Implementing Agencies under the LDC Fund for NAPA implementation including easy access to LDC Fund, direct communication with GEF and additional funding to innovative country-driven activities like LAPA. Another submission is on the inclusion of mountain ecosystems and climate change as a potential area of work under the Nairobi Work Programme. As COP18 and CMP8 are in the Asian soil, the dryland may offer practical and innovative solutions to a greener and climate-friendly world.
Uprety is Vice-Chair, LEG (LDC Expert Group) and Member, Nepal's Core Negotiating Team to UNFCCC; E-mail: