It’s Time to Recognise Threats of Climate Change

Sep 26th, 2014 | By | Category: Development and Climate Change, Government Policies, International Agencies, Nepal

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala brought the attention of world leaders to the climate change impacts faced by Nepal and other Least Developed Countries (LDC)  during his address to the UN Climate Change Summit-2014 in New York on Tuesday.

Noting that Nepal is the fifth most vulnerable country in terms of climate change, Koirala gave an account of the environmental challenges faced by the country because of Himalayan glacier melt, erratic and extreme weather conditions leading to flash floods and landslides, loss of biodiversity, decline in agricultural productivity and depletion of fresh water resources.

Koirala informed the summit participants that Nepal has adopted a climate change policy containing National Adaptation Programme of Action, Local Adaptation Plan of Action, and with institutionalized structures like Climate Change Council which I personally chair, he said adding that other focused programmes include the Rastrapati Chure Tarai Madhes Conservation and declaration of 2014-24 as forest decade, committing to maintain 40 percent of land under uninterrupted forest covers for biodiversity and low carbon strategy.

“We recognise that an appropriate level of carbon pricing is necessary to enhance the prospects of REDD-plus in carbon stocking, and more vigorously promote the clean development mechanism,” he said. “We are also creating a climate change basket fund to receive and allocate multiple financial resources for implementing suitable climate change adaptation and mitigation measures with equal emphasis on both.”

The prime minister called for an effective regime of transfer of affordable and appropriate technologies and their application. He said that the future of humanity lies in remaining a low carbon society for which progressive reduction of fossil fuel use and replacement of the biomass-based energy use by renewable and alternative sources of energy such as hydropower, solar and wind energy should be encouraged.

Koirala said that climate change is pushing additional people into poverty negating all efforts of poverty eradication in a country like Nepal because of their over dependence on rain-fed agriculture, widespread deprivation and weak infrastructure.

He appealed for increased attention to enhance financing from industrialised countries and international mechanisms to ensure economic growth and energy security in LDCs.

“We can no longer afford to live in mere rhetoric. Commitments must be translated into concrete actions based on the accepted principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, equity and respective capability,” he said.

Given the enormity of environmental challenges and severity of climate change crisis, he said that it is time to recognise grave threats in this interdependent and interconnected world, demonstrate bold leadership, and develop a comprehensive plan to galvanise grassroots movement along with international actions by global partners to build a binding climate change agreement by 2015 for climate solutions.

Koirala meets Sri Lankan  President Rajapaksa

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala held meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the margins of the 66th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

The two leaders exchanged views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interests, said a statement issued by Nepal’s Permanent Mission to UN in New York.

Development of Lumbini, improving connectivity between Nepal and Sri Lanka, and issues concerning the forthcoming Saarc summit were also discussed.

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