Transforming The Political Messages

Recalling the speeches at Jomsom, Kalapaththar and Rukum, Prime Minister has clearly expressed his great concern on climate change impacts and made a commitment to strongly raise 'claim' at CoP28.

Nov. 23, 2023, 9:30 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: VOL. 17, No. 08, December.01,2023 (Mangishr,15. 2080) Publisher and Editor: Keshab Prasad Poudel Online Register Number: DOI 584/074-75

Discussions and observationson the impacts of climate change in the Nepal Himalayas, mountains, and socio-economic and infrastructure sectors have enhanced understanding, clarified scale and magnitude of impacts at different levels, and stimulated to commit for a strong presence in climate negotiation processes. Preparatory processes for the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (CoP28), 18th session of the CoP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP18) and 5th session of the CoP serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA5), including the recent reports such as UNEP's separategap reports on emission and adaptation (2023) calls for urgent climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as 'temperatures hit new highs' and 'world fails to cut emissions', and provide adequate investments for climate adaptation as it is 'underfinanced and underprepared'. CoP28, CMP18 and CMA5 will be held at Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023 with high-level segment (Climate Action Summit) on 1-2 December 2023.

Recalling the recent visitand call of the UN Secretary General from,Khumbu and Annapurna Base Camp, and statement at the parliamentprovides hope to further internationalise the impacts of climate change in the mountains, people, livelihoods, and natural resources. Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal has reiterated the impacts of climate change in Nepal and has mobilised a team to prepare evidence to 'claim for compensation' at CoP28 for the loss from climate and water-induced disasters. Devastations from flood in Melamchi, Dordi Khola, Hewa Khola or Kagbeni and other areas, deserve special attention to link with climate.

Recalling the speeches at Jomsom, Kalapaththar and Rukum, Prime Minister has clearly expressed his great concern on climate change impacts and made a commitment to strongly raise 'claim' at CoP28. Unveiling the National Adaptation Plan (NAP, 2021-2050) and Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation Plan (NDCIP) during the National Climate 'Summit' on 21 November 2023, Prime Minister further reiterated to 'claim' seriously and to advocate, inter alia, for limiting temperature rise, doubling financial resources for adaptation, and early and full implementation of the previous financial commitments, including procedural difficulties in accessing climate finance, and urgent need for climate justice.

During the National Climate 'Summit', state of preparations for CoP28 was shared with the climate community to collect feedback on Nepal's position paper as well. Nepal has prepared thematic papers on: (i) climate finance; (ii) loss and damage; (iii) adaptation; (iv) mountain technology and capacity building; (v) migration, carbon trade, global stocktake and transparency; and (vi) gender, youth, children, and indigenous peoples. A separate national position paper has also been prepared.

As shared during the 'Summit', Nepal has outlined activities for before, during and after the CoP, including focus on consultations, preparation of thematic papers, and planning for 36 side-events in Nepal pavilion at Dubai. During the CoP28, Rt. Hon. Prime Minister will deliver a statement at the high-level segment. Leaders' summit will also focus on transforming finance and high-level Global Stocktake on Adaptation. Nepal pavilion will provide a platform for sharing country climate actions during the CoP28. The government may wish to show evidence-based videos that clearly reflect snow melting, glaciers retreats and climate and water-induced disasters to inform the international community about the adverse impacts of climate change in Nepal. It may also wish to double focus on climate change impacts on water resources and urgency for understanding the contribution of water for both climate adaptation and mitigation. Sharing of mountaineers' experience on snow melting and challenges faced by the climate vulnerable communities in the recent years would add value, andmay help to understand and enhance knowledge on climate change effects in the mountains.

Statements of the Heads of the States and/or Governments provide adequate guidance to mainstream negotiation process. In multilateral negotiations, a position of a single country might not get adequate attention. It would rather focus on issues of common needs and priorities. Several regional and interest groups play a significant role in climate negotiation. In general, Nepal participates to develop a 'common voice' in LDC group, Asia and the Pacific, and Group of 77 and China - a big group of over 130 developing countries. Nepal is also a member of climate vulnerable forum and other initiatives.

Recalling thepast, Copenhagen Climate Summit participated by the Heads of the States and the Governments did not deliver to effectively implement the Conventions and the Kyoto Protocol. The CoP15 simply noted the 'Copenhagen Accord'. This happened so as high-level segment was organised almost at the end of the Conference and negotiators faced difficulties to agree on political messages during a limited time. In Paris, Heads of the States and the Governmentsattended the high-level segment on the first day of the Conference. This provided the negotiators an opportunity to understand and negotiate on the political messages.This resulted to the adoption of the Paris Agreement.Since then, high-level segment has been organised on the first day of each CoP to understand and negotiate on political directions. Same happens in CoP28 and negotiators will get opportunity to elaborate, influence and convince the country-specific needs and priorities, and agree on implementation of the provisions of the Convention, Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.

Recalling the statements and instructions of the Prime Minister, CoP28 statement at Dubai will likely include a 'claim for compensation' from climate-induced effects. Nepal may actively participate in negotiation process to flag issues of national priorities, as contained in the statement. For this, Nepal may wish to form a knowledgeable and well-versed negotiating team to transform the political deliberations into CoP's decisions. Furthermore, Nepal may wish to support and lobby to adopt agenda on the mountain and climate change proposed by Andorra. This would greatly provide a basis for future climate negotiation processes.

batu uprety111.jpg

Batu Uprety

Former Joint-Secretary and Chief of Climate Change Management Division, Ministry of Environment (then), and former Team Leader, National Adaptation Plan (NAP) formulation process. E-mail: upretybk@gmail.com

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