Poor governance hits climate change in South Asia
By Arun Ranjit
During the past few days Asia became the focal point of international conferences as a series of big international conferences was organized in Asia.
After the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change known as COP27 summit in Egypt, the ASEAN Summit gathered leaders in Cambodia. Then immediately after the G20 Summit was hosted by Indonesia where the world’s big economies along with most populated nations’ leaders gathered.
This conference has cooled down the tension between China and US as the President Joe Biden of the USA and President Xi Jinping of China smilingly shook hands and talked about a wide range of various issues of the world including Ukraine, Taiwan, North Korea, semiconductors and more were discussed. and bilateral too for about three weeks in Bali.
Likewise, the APEC Summit was organized on November 18 and 19,2022 in Bangkok of Thailand.
Meanwhile, the world also recorded the 8th billionth population born in Manila.
Malaysians went to parliamentary polls on Saturday while Nepal went for parliamentary and provincial polls on Sunday.
The FIFA World Cup in Asian continent—Qatar also kicks off for the first time in the Middle East and Arab world where five Asian countries — Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Qatar are vying for the games.
The COP27 was organized in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt where leaders and officials from 200 countries pledged to halt deforestation by 2030 leading the charge in the global fight for climate aid to the developing world calling to deepen emissions cuts and financially back developing countries already devastated by the effects of rising temperatures.
Rich, industrialized countries have long resisted such a policy from developing countries in the Global South for “loss and damage” payments which would compensate them for the impacts of climate change. Fearing, it will make them vulnerable to continuous demands for compensation, given their outsized production of greenhouse gas emissions.
Meanwhile, there is always more to be done domestically: Poor governance decisions often exacerbate climate change impacts in South Asia. These include unregulated deforestation, subsidies for wasteful forms of irrigation, and poor urban planning.
Climate reparations, also known as loss and damage, are the financial payments that the Global South demands from the Global North in order to compensate for the irreversible havoc wreaked by the climate crisis.
Rainforests like the Amazon, not only store carbon but provide other crucial services, including regulating the rainfall that is vital for global food security. If forests and other ecosystems continue to be damaged and even disappear — largely as agriculture expands to meet rising global demand for food — irreversible climate tipping points could be passed.
But boosting the number of countries willing to step up nature conservation will likely require economic incentives, such as access to international funding, including through carbon markets.
Current trends would see carbon pollution increase 10% by the end of the decade and put the world on a path to heat up to 2.8C. More than 150 countries have signed up to a global pact to reduce methane emissions—50 more than when the US and EU launched the Global Methane Pledge during the Glasgow climate talks last year. Ocean-based climate solutions have a key role in keeping the goal to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach and improving global climate resilience.
When Brazil— particularly the Amazon region chairs the G20 meeting in 2024 and COP30 in 2025 climate will be top of the agenda making wealthy nations deliver on their pledges.
Nepal in COP27
Melting snow and ice from the mountains contribute to sea level rise and these two regions are interconnected, Nepal said at the COP 27 Summit.
Speaking during the Egypt meet the officials at the Forest Ministry elaborated saying, “ Nepal, being a landlocked mountainous country with fragile topography, is facing the negative impact of climate change despite its negligible contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, to extreme climatic events, Nepal is facing climate-induced disasters in different forms which are causing huge losses to the economy, ecosystem, and humanity,”
Though our development model is green, resilient and inclusive, with abundant water, forest and biodiversity resources, Nepal can contribute to sharing clean, green, and nature-based climate solutions in the region.
Reflecting on the urgent need for action to tackle the climate crisis, Nepal is firmly committed to being a part of this endeavor and looks forward to an enhanced level of cooperation.
No doubt, South Asia also contributes relatively little to global greenhouse gas emissions that has made the residents most affected by climate change.
India calls for action on climate finance, adaptation, and loss and damage. However, India could play a key role in advocating for loss and damage financing for fighting climate change.
Bangladesh promised to push for loss and damage funding, too. I
Sri Lankan said that developing countries “need to be compensated for loss and damage.” Even Afghanistan’s Taliban have echoed the language of loss and damage.
In the South Asia region, except some countries, the poor governances have worsened climate change impacts hitting deforestation, disinclined subsidies for wasteful forms of irrigation, poor urban management.
One More Day
The meeting supposed to be concluded on November 18 Friday was extended due to finalized the discussions and came to close only on Saturday November 19. The last scheduled day of the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference featured continued talks and few evident outcomes.
The Egyptian Presidency announced on Friday, calling for negotiators to “shift gears” so an agreement can be reached on the remaining sticking points. The 27th UN Climate Change Conference concluded one day later than expected urging parties to “shift gears again” to bring the meeting “to a close tomorrow with a balanced, ambitious outcome.” One day after the scheduled end of the meeting, negotiations were held on finance, cover decisions, and parties continued to propose new items for inclusion and suggest other items for deletion.
But initial optimism with the agreement of cooperative implementation was dimmed due to the process. As day turned into night, Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference emerged with difficulties. However, with optimism fading, all expect the good results to be bridged in time.