Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s recent visit to Glasgow of UK was important in regard to fostering Nepal’s relations with friendly nations and put Nepal’s position on climate change issue. The mega global forum in Scotland, attended by 132 heads of governments and states, 40,000 delegates from 170 countries, provided a rare opportunity to spell out Nepal’s concerns about the adverse impact of global temperature rise and its negative climatic repercussions on the lives and livelihoods of the people. In addition, the UN climate summit offered an opportunity for Prime Minister Deuba to meet and interact with world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Climate change is a global hot issue and the 26th conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was dedicated to deliberate on this topic. The global meeting known as COP-26 is a congregation to make an assessment of the progress and shortcomings of the Paris climate agreement of 2015.
As highlighted by Prime Minister Deuba, Nepal’s top concern about climate change was the vulnerability faced by poor mountainous nations. Nepal boasts of majestic Himalayan mountains, including the globe’s highest peak Sagarmatha but the mountains are more prone to the catastrophic effects of global warming as observed by scientists. Prime Minister Deuba’s UK visit has been successful to raise climatic concerns of the nation, express Nepal’s commitment to act towards net-zero emissions by embracing green economic approaching and switching to the use of clean energy. Nepal is moving ahead with ambitious plan on mitigation and adaptation but the goal can hardly be achieved without international support. This applies to all countries in vulnerable condition like Nepal.
Addressing the Glasgow summit, the Prime Minister said the COP26 must ensure adequate adaptation aid for the most vulnerable countries by scaling up financial, technological and capacity building support. Nepal has not only raised its own concerns at the summit but also spoke about common problems faced by mountainous and least developed countries. According to a professor at the University of Leeds in UK, Prime Minister Deuba has shared the common sentiments of least developed and developing countries in his COP-26 address as he drew the world attention towards the contemporary environmental issues. He has not only talked about the problem created by global warming and climate change but also laid due emphasis on urgent actions that need to be taken to tackle the problem.
Climate change is an issue that has global dimension and no country and no community can remain untouched form its adverse effects. The impacts are being felt in the occurrence of extreme climate disasters, health problems, poor agricultural outputs and loss of bio-diversity. Scientific research has proved that the effects of warming are higher in the Himalayan mountains than the global average. This points to our greater vulnerability and calls for prompt adaptation measures for short term and mitigation measures for the long run. Nepal emits negligible amount of greenhouse gases but as a mountainous country, has to bear the brunt of adverse effects of climate change. Nepal’s growing forest cover conserved and regenerated by local communities play an important role in absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This contribution to clean the atmosphere must be duly rewarded from the international climate fund.