25th August 2019,
Digo Bikas Institute co-lead the climate change track in Nepal’s People Forum on Sustainable Development 2019. Digo Bikas Institute, co-lead of the theme prepared the draft thematic statement for climate change track. Along with drafting, Abhishek Shrestha, Director Climate Justice and Rethinking Development program, presented and facilitated the consultations at Multi-stakeholder consultation meeting and marginalized group consultation. In addition, DBI presented the draft People’s Call for Action on Climate Change Nepal’s People Forum on Sustain Development, 22nd of August 2019. Recommendations from the consultation and the forum were incorporated to finalize Nepal People’s Call for Action on Climate Change.
Nepal’s People Forum on Sustain Development came up with Nepal People’s Call for Action on 1. Climate Change 2. Desertification and land degradation 3. Universal Health Coverage 4. Financing for Development 5. The 2030 Agenda/ SDGs Which was handed to the Honorable Foreign Minister who attended series of high-level meeting in New York and to Hon. Vice-Chair of National Planning Commission. People’s Call for Action was prepared by Civil Society Major Groups and Stakeholders through process based Nepal People’s Forum on Sustainable Development 2019 (Youth Forum and Main Event), held on 21-22 August 2019 in Kathmandu. 76 organizations, academic society, think tanks, related government bodies, UN agencies, and parliament members directly involved in the process.
Nepal People’s Call for Action on Climate Change.
The latest IPCC special report on global warming warned that unless the emission reduction targets are substantially strengthened, limiting warming to 1.5°C will remain unreachable. According to the Observed Climate Trend Analysis of Nepal (1971-2014) by Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, all Nepal maximum temperature trend is significantly positive (0.056°C/yr) and all Nepal annual minimum temperature trend is also positive (0.002°C/yr). As climate change has already started affecting people and their livelihood in Nepal, vulnerable, marginalized and indigenous peoples as well as women are facing impacts of climate change and they are experiencing flood, landslides, glacier melt and intense drought exacerbate socio-economic challenges to life and livelihoods. Climate change is already becoming an unexpected burden for Nepal as it is impacting the country’s economy. Extreme weather conditions are likely to lead to dire consequences and economic loss, estimated to be equivalent to1.5 to 2 percent of annual GDP, and reaching to 2 to 3percent of current GDP by mid-century. For many, it has become an existential crisis. Impacts of climate change are increasingly being reported each day with extreme weather conditions leading to a number of fatalities and unprecedented impacts to whole communities. This year’s monsoon in Nepal caused massive floods and landslides leading to death of over 110 people and displacement of many others. While climate change has reached a level of planetary emergency, with many countries identifying it as a threat to human existence, government and political parties of Nepal have not been able to adequately respond to climate change. Various efforts have been made at the global level in order to address global climate crisis, specifically, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and Sustainable Development Goals, among others. Nepal has demonstrated its commitment and solidarity to the global community by signing these important global agreements and also by focusing on their implementation at the national and sub-national level. It is appreciable that various policy initiatives have been taken and institutional arrangements made by Nepal in order to coordinate climate action at the national and sub-national levels. Nepal, which is in course of setting up institutional and policy arrangements for implementing federalism, has now started to contextualize the existing policies on climate change that are to be accomplished as soon as possible. Although the global community has made various treaties and agreements resulting in formulation of policy and instruments at the national and sub- national levels, there is a huge gap in achieving the objectives and targets set by such instruments. In this context, we, the concerned civil society Major Groups from Nepal, convened Nepal People’s Forum on Sustainable Development, discussed about the climate crisis and agreed on the following points including our commitments and key asks for the same.
- There is a need of people’s leadership to develop timely response mechanism for addressing the escalating crisis. NGOs, CBOs, CSOs, youths, women, trade unions, peasants, indigenous peoples, people with disability, and LGBTIQ communities working closely with the communities are struggling to support the most climate vulnerable, landless, marginalized, small holder’s communities of Nepal.
- Despite the immense challenges we face, there exists a hope from the fact that people already have indigenous knowledge and practices at the local level. Community led solutions and alternatives such as decentralized community-owned renewable energy, poverty reduction and sustainable initiatives, and agro-ecology contribute to harmonizing nature, guaranteeing human rights for all and building equitable, just and sustainable world. We commit to further strengthen and orient our programmes and interventions to the most vulnerable groups of the communities.
- We people from the most vulnerable community call up developed and industrialized nations to address the planetary crisis with existing real solutions practiced by people in the community, and replicate and scale up the climate action globally. Timely and adequate actions from the developed nations can ameliorate lives of millions of people suffering terrible impacts of climate change.
- We call up the Federal, Provincial and Local Governments of Nepal to initiate necessary policies and programmes in alignment with the spirit of the Constitution of Nepal to address climate change and take adequate steps to mainstream climate change into their annual and periodic planning. We ask all levels of government to engage all the multiple stakeholders and vulnerable and affected communities in designing and implementing these policies and programmes.
- Developed countries have failed to meet their legal and moral responsibilities in addressing climate change. We call up the developed and industrialized nations to address the planetary crisis with existing real solutions practiced by people in the community, replicate and scale up the climate action globally. This action will contribute to address the root causes of the crisis and help to promote safe and dignified lives for all. Transformative and systemic changes are urgent to ensure this while also ensuring that adequate technical and financial resources and supports are provided to the Least Developed Countries including Nepal, which is among the most vulnerable countries due to climate change.
- We appreciate the effort from the Secretary General of United Nations for organizing Climate Action Summit to strengthen global climate actions and push world leaders to raise global and national ambitions. We strongly urge the developed countries and world leaders to put equity and justice to the core of the solutions to climate change. The approaches for solution should encompass emission reductions but also financing, technology support and adaptation. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) from the countries in the Paris agreement will not limit global temperature rise to 1.50C by the end of the century. The target can only be met if governments take immediate actions in next couple of years to make significant reductions in emissions and increase the national targets more than they had submitted before Paris Climate Agreement.
- In addition, governments must take action now to phase out fossil fuel production subsidies and end public support for fossil fuel exploration. We also urge to ensure appropriate and adequate climate finance to deliver equitably and fairly to enable countries like Nepal to deal with the impacts of climate change, build climate resilient communities and to shift towards low carbon development pathways.
- We call Government of Nepal to declare climate emergency and promote people’s solutions.
Nepal People’s Call for Action publication can be downloaded from: