By Purna N. Ranjitkar
COP (conference of parties) is the supreme decision-making body of the UNFCCC. All States that are Parties to the convention are represented at the COP, at which they review the implementation of the convention and any other legal instruments that the COP adopts and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of the Convention, including institutional and administrative arrangements.
The 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt during November 07 to 18, 2022.
A key task for the COP is to review the national communications and emission inventories submitted by Parties. Based on this information, the COP assesses the effects of the measures taken by Parties and the progress made in achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention.
The COP meets every year, unless the Parties decide otherwise. The first COP meeting was held in Berlin, Germany in March, 1995. The COP meets in Bonn, the seat of the secretariat, unless a Party offers to host the session. Just as the COP Presidency rotates among the five recognized UN regions – that is, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe and Others – there is a tendency for the venue of the COP to also shift among these groups.
Among the COPs held every year, COP 21 took place in Paris in 2015 was an landmark event. I gave birth to the Paris Agreement. Nations pledging to reduce emissions, adapting to the impacts of a changing climate and committing to financing the climate change road ahead. Under the Paris Agreement, countries committed to bring forward national plans setting out how much they would reduce their emissions with policies to navigate climate change.
Similarly, COP26 held in Glasgow UK in 2021 was another landmark where leaders of the world gathered and expressed commitments to support climate change actions.
Participating countries are preparing for their presentations and showcasing in the COP27 arena. Mostly the poor countries are having targets to expose the crisis they are facing due to climate change effects. Therefore, they expect strong advocacy for technical and financial supports to fight and stay fit. Nepal is one of such countries.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba participated in the COP 26 and expressed Nepal’s target to maintain ‘zero carbon emission’ by year 2045.
In COP26, Nepal was able to expose the damage of caused by floods in Melamchi, Mustang and other places. The snow melting in the Himalayas and caused impact to biodiversity and livelihood were also put for global attention.
Nepal has prepared a seven point actions. Loss and damage and climate finance are the focus agenda Nepal prepares to put a strong voice.
In the context of War in Ukraine, the big countries who committed to contribute or expected to commit for climate actions are divided in principles and actions. Therefore, the global event on climate change which relates to human civilization needs more works to bring them into commitments and support actions. That will not be easy for the representatives from Nepal and other countries.
Nepal, as a matter of facts, needs technical and financial supports from the COPs while the COP27 should be an opportunity to turn efforts and expectations to turn into reality. Thus, delegates should be well equipped and informed for the lobby and advocacy in the side events and negotiations.
Officially, Nepal has been able to maintain 45% of landmass with forest is one good indicator, that the country can tell the world and fetch climate fund as carbon trade.
Renewable energy is recognised as an instrument to reduce GHG. Energy generated fossil fuel should be replace by energy by renewable energy technologies have been a priority all over the world. In this context, renewable energy is one of Nepal’s good products for itself and even potential supplying to the neighbouring countries in near future. Therefore, private sector should have an easier access to climate funds which can support develop more hydropower projects, solar projects and similar other industries.
Similarly supports in financing for development of infrastructure and investment should one high priority agenda. Likewise, financial support in electric transportation should be one other high priority as private entrepreneurs could not make a business to operate bypassing fossil fuel vehicles. The cost sharing on the basis of reducing vehicular emissions should be another priority. It is logical to expect that electric vehicles for public transportation will contribute to narrow the wider gap in the trade balance the country.
Moreover, NDC II had significant projects to carry as conditional and unconditional. The fund available and technical capacity the country could afford for conditional commitments are not enough to achieve, experiences show. Likewise, unconditional commitments must not be showpieces or ambition but they are equally important for the country so that financial and technical support from or through COP forum must be available to Nepal. Therefore, COP27 must be a greater opportunity Nepal need to catch and draw attention of the world community which could be guidelines for the needful supports to the countries like Nepal.
Therefore, COP 27 must not be ‘hopes only’ for Nepal, but actions should be well in the better form.