December 6, 2022, Tuesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Climate Diplomacy to gather strength to work with global and regional forces

The Nepal Weekly
January 11, 2022

By Purna N. Ranjitkar

It is globally recognised that diplomacy simply means the management of relationship between countries. Similarly diplomacy is also ability to control a difficult situation without upsetting anyone, according to renowned dictionaries.

The term climate diplomacy may be much similar but carries more meanings and characteristics of climate change issues and dealing with countries involved, and to be involved in reducing climate change actions.

Moreover, we are unwillingly ready to face a much warmer world. Greenhouse gas emissions have already increased temperatures and are drying up water sources, raising sea levels, and threatening lives and livelihoods around the world. Extreme weather events – intense rain, dangerous storms, prolonged droughts, deadly heat waves, and uncontrollable wildfires – are becoming more frequent and more severe. Mountain countries are facing floods, landslides and unseasonal rains while small island countries fear water level raise and hurricane, tornado and so on.

The repercussions not only threaten people’s livelihoods and impair development, but raise important geopolitical questions that touch upon the heart of international politics: sovereignty, territorial integrity, and access to resources such as water, food, and energy. The climate crisis has the potential to cause significant and highly uncertain impacts on societies, undermining human security and increasing the risks of conflict and instability. Address them appropriately requires a global-level strategic and coordinated response. This is where climate diplomacy comes in.

Climate change is a destabilising factor that needs to be considered in efforts to build resilience, while promoting conflict-sensitive climate action contributes to stability. The climate crisis is a global issue touching upon diverse areas of international and foreign policy and climate diplomacy encompasses all diplomatic engagement relating to climate change. 

Burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket wrapped around the Earth, trapping the sun’s heat and raising temperatures. Examples of greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change include carbon dioxide and methane. These come from using gasoline for driving a car or coal for heating a building, for example. Clearing land and forests can also release carbon dioxide. Landfills for garbage are a major source of methane emissions. Energy, industry, transport, buildings, agriculture and land use are among the main emitters.

An influential political leader and a veteran climate campaigner recently said that Nepal needs to groom climate diplomats and exercise climate diplomacy in the global scenario. This comment has created waves in the intellectual circles and climate enthusiasts as soon as media disseminated it as news.

This was mentioned by Former Minister Ganesh Shah addressing as a key speaker in an interaction webinar by The Nepal Weekly the other day. He argued that besides gathering all strength in home, Nepal has to have intensive dialogues and coordination with relevant countries and global and regional or categorically similar countries. So as best dialogues could bring desirable results, he mentioned. So grooming diplomat is a supplementary need, he indicated. He also indicated that all must not be bear the lucrative designations but carry good intentions and enthusiasm in favour of the nation and global benefit focusing on reduce the climate change effects.

Remarkably, Prime Minister She Bhadur Deuba addressed World Leaders Summit on November 02 which is an important part of 26thUnited Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as COP26 held during 31 October to 13 November 2021. There in the conference, he strongly raised concerns over the impact caused by climate change in the Himalayan region.

PM Deuba stated that rapid warming in the Himalayas had posed serious threats to food, water, energy, and human security of the entire region. Keeping the global temperature below 1.5° C is very important for mountain people, he added. PM Deuba also underscored that Nepal had initiated hosting Sagarmatha Sambad – a dialogue named after Mt. Everest, in order to raise awareness of the climate crisis in the Himalayas.

“We call upon the Parties to agree on making the loss and damage a stand-alone agenda for negotiations and support the framework of additional financing for it,” PM Deuba said, “The COP26 must ensure adequate adaptation aid for the most vulnerable countries by scaling up financial, technological and capacity-building support” he added saying “the goals could be achieved only via quick, direct, and easy access to climate finance.”

PM Deuba emphasized “Nepal aims to reach a net-zero emission by 2045 by ensuring that 15 per cent of the total  energy demand is supplied from clean energy sources and maintain 45 per cent of the country under forest cover by 2030”. He also mentioned the recent approval of the Long Term Strategy on Loss and Damage and National Adaptation Plan.

Similarly, the government policy and campaigners’ activities are aimed to convince Nepal agenda to world community. Hence, to keep up efforts to raise Nepal’s climate agenda and ambitions in the bilateral and multilateral forums in the global and regional forums, climate diplomacy is an urgent for Nepal to enhance even at governmental and non-government levels where even campaigners and activists perform a job of a real diplomat.