December 8, 2022, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Climate activists consider climate credit as a burden

The Nepal Weekly
September 27, 2022

By Purna N. Ranjitkar

Around a month back, a group of climate activists gathered at Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu to protest against the World Bank climate loan under the Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) initiative. 

This event was organised just two days after Nepal Government and the World Bank (WB) signed a concessional financing agreement for US $100 million (Nepali Rs 12.7 billion) for the GRID initiative. The budgetary support aims to create an enabling environment in Nepal toward a green, climate-resilient, and inclusive development. The agreement also carries aims at supporting priority policy actions in the areas of water, land use, climate-smart agriculture, sustainable forest management, urban waste and pollution control.

The campaigners who brought the issue to the streets say that Nepal has been suffered of climate change effects due to the excesses of developed countries mainly. Thus, Nepal should get compensations against loss and damages. The financial supports in this respect should be grant but not any credit for the country.

Naturally, Nepal is rightfully entitled to receive grants to fight against the impacts of climate change since it has negligible contribution to the global problem. 

The climate activists who participated past COPs say that negotiation is not an easy task. The developed countries who are supposed to provide funds for climate crisis to tackle are not serious on the commitments. Even then, the representatives from Nepal gather strength to generate more strength from suffering countries for common issues to rise. They organise various meetings and consultations for common voices on climate crisis and measures to tackle keeping in view technical and financial supports from polluting countries as grant if not compensation.

United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP27,is all set to organise from 6 to 18 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Heads of State, ministers and negotiators, along with climate activists, mayors, civil society representatives and CEOs will meet in the Egyptian coastal city for the largest annual gathering on climate action.

The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change  will build on the outcomes of COP26 to deliver action on an array of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change, to delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries. 

Faced with a growing energy crisis, record greenhouse gas concentrations, and increasing extreme weather events, COP27 seeks renewed solidarity between countries, to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement, for people and the planet. 

Nepal has been preparing for strong presence in the COP27. The preparation has been commenced right from adjournment of COP26 held in Glasgow, UK in October 2021. In the World Leaders Forum of COP26, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had expressed that Nepal will be carbon neutral by Year 2045.

Dr. Madhab Kaki, Climate Change and Environment advisor to the Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on the government’s climate priority states that preparation has been conducted intensively. Stakeholders have been consulted for their views.

The main priorities Nepal is preparing are on a) Secure 50 percent of the committed climate finance for adaptation and push for a decision on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA); b) Reduce the mitigation ambition gap by calling upon developed countries; c) Secure inclusion of the loss and damage and agreement on the operationalization of the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage (SNLD) by receiving commitment for its permanent Secretariat and dedicated funding; d) Secure 50 percent finance for adaptation out of the $100bn annual climate change finance committed by the developed country by 2023; and e) Champion the cause of mountains by promoting mountain agenda at various forums of the COP27 as a part of highlighting the disproportionate impact vulnerable countries are facing due to global climate change. 

Besides, Nepal also needs to call for transparency and accountability in stepped-up climate change funding especially to the most vulnerable and least developed countries to support adaptation, capacity building and technology transfer, as per his statement. 

Moreover, need of fund for climate actions for Nepal is supported by the reports of IPCC which indicate that countries like Nepal are suffering extensively as climate change effects. The last year natural calamities and this year’s flood and landslides are also to be taken into consideration in the global forum.

Importantly, UN General Secretary António Guterres, addressing the first session of this year’s UN General Assembly the other day said that developed economies should impose an extra tax on the profits of fossil fuel firms, with the funds diverted to countries affected by climate change and households struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

This speech can bring the developed countries to contribute the climate financing to support to the countries like Nepal for climate actions.

Moreover, this will add will power to the campaigners from Nepal and other countries facing similar climate crises to negotiate in the COP27 events and side events and also in the follow up meetings and conferences. This will be instrumental for Nepal and likeminded countries to not to receive credits for climate actions but ‘pure financial supports’.