NEPAL IN COP 20: Two Roles To Play

Although Nepal is now the chair of LDC group in COP, what difference Nepal will make to the Least Developed Countries remains to be seen

Dec. 5, 2014, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 08 No. -12 December. 5- 2014 (Mansir 19, 2071)

Although Nepal has sent a jumbo delegation to the COP 20 meeting in Lima, Peru, the members found little time for preparation to present the country's agenda at the meeting. The joint-secretary, heading the LDCs, at Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, was transferred at the last minute. Similarly, the government cleared the new joint secretary's name just a day before the commencement of the meeting.

These decisions will impact Nepal’s performance in the COP 20. As Peru is a mountainous country facing a lot of problems like Nepal does, there is a possibility for mountain countries to raise their own voices.

Championing the cause of mountain countries, Nepal has been making efforts to unite these from around the world. Initiated by CPN-UML leader and Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, the Mountain Initiative is mainly Nepal’s brain child.

Holding the RARA Conference, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment has made some efforts to articulate the problems. However, it is yet to be seen how Nepal will raise the concerns, along with voices for LDCs.

By holding the cabinet meeting at Kalapathar, at an altitude of over 5000 meters in 2008, then Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal drew the international attention to mountains and the Himalayas. 

From 1 to 12 December 2014, Peru will host the 20th Conference of Parties (COP 20) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change — the latest in a series of meetings by the UN’s decision-making body on climate action. 

Along with the other agenda, the event is promoting the participation of indigenous peoples, who are set to voice their views and discuss solutions at the meeting. And Peru’s environment minister, has been emphasising the role of science, technology and traditional knowledge in tackling climate change.  

As Vice chairman of National Planning Commission Dr. Govinda Pokharel, who is a renowned expert on renewable energy, is reported to be leading the Nepalese delegation, Nepal can expect to raise the issues as an LDC and a mountain country.

Following a year of ambitious and determined action from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the group calls on the delegates of the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) to make significant progress in Lima in advancing the elements of the new climate Agreement’s text.

Addressing the meeting in Lima, the Chair of the LDC Group, Ram Prasad Lamsal of Nepal said: “In recent months, we have seen LDCs make ambitious climate pledges in New York,1 the EU’s 2030 agreement to reduce emissions by at least 40% in Bonn,2 the bilateral agreement between the US and China on mitigation targets at the G20 summit in Brisbane and a series of encouraging finance pledges to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Now, with just 30 negotiation days left until Paris 2015, we urge Parties to seize the opportunity in Lima to pave the way for the Paris Agreement and ratify the second commitment of the Kyoto Protocol.

Dr. Krishna C. Paudel, Secretary, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment of Nepal, further stated: “The LDC Group always tries to play a constructive role in the negotiations. We must ensure that the global response addresses needs and concerns of LDCs, which are the hardest hit by adverse effects of climate change.”

“We believe that the Agreement is an opportunity to foster a real, action-oriented global response, which could put the world on a path towards a climate resilient sustainable future. It must therefore focus on the delivery and implementation of current and future commitments,” Dr. Paudel added.

According to IIED, LDC Group Media Release issued from United Nations Climate Change Conference 2014, Lima, Peru, the LDC Group is determined and focused to advance the discussions on the Paris Agreement, and reiterates that the focus it brought to the Bonn climate negotiations in October,4 saying that parties must scale up ambition towards making deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions both now and in the long-term, to hold global average temperature increase below 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels by 2100. They argue that LDCs cannot afford to bear the costs of inaction or delayed action as climate impacts worsen day by day.

However, the Group is concerned that negotiations of the 2015 Agreement are moving too slowly. Dr. Paudel added: “We believe the structure of the 2015 Agreement must be a protocol with clear short, medium- and long-term goals and targets, and robust compliance mechanisms to enforce commitments.  Such a protocol could provide a stronger, unifying framework – legally, politically, institutionally and administratively – with mechanisms that facilitate countries to commit to stronger climate action.”

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