In order to limit the rise of global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, rich industrialised nations, which have largest share in the emissions of greenhouse gases need to cut carbon emission to a drastic level. But meeting the climate goal set by the Paris accord of 2015 seems hard to achieve if the current trend of fossil fuel burning continues unabated. Countries are not adequately prioritising to materialise the climate promises for the sake of meeting short term economic ambitions. Climate agendas are being undermined when it’s the time to accelerate actions through global commitment to make sure global warming does not reach critical level. Least developed countries like Nepal are least responsible for climate crisis, but are already suffering from its impacts. The change in precipitation patterns, high precipitation over a short period of time, lingering droughts and other unusual weather phenomena are increasing the trend of natural disasters, causing health hazards and affecting people’s livelihoods and the nation’s economy.
Devastating floods and landslides are causing huge losses of lives and property. Rising temperature has adversely affected agricultural yields, natural eco-system, freshwater supply and health of the people. Melting of the glaciers and other snow cover has disturbed the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayan region due to the rising temperatures. Glacial melting has caused the formation of glacial lakes up in the Himalayan mountains that pose risk of outburst when the water level is too large. In such a case, the danger faced by the downstream settlements and infrastructure can easily be imagined.
In this context, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda has assured that he will seriously raise the climate related issues faced by the third world countries like Nepal at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly that is set to take place on September 18 to 26. A Nepali delegation, led by Prime Minister Prachanda, is participating in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Summit-2023 on September18-19 and Climate Ambition Summit 2023 on September 20 at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. The Prime Minister will also address the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (SDGs) as the chair of the Least Developed Countries. He has pledged to raise the common problems and challenges faced by LDCs, obstacles to achieving the 20230 Sustainable Development Goals, and the collaborative steeps the countries should take to ensure continued progress towards development and prosperity.
In the UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit 2023, world leaders will carry out a comprehensive review of the state of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Although countries are half way to the deadline of 2030, combined impact of global economic recession, climate induced disasters, and lingering effects of COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing Russia-Ukraine war have made it extremely challenging to attain the SDG. Nepal government is working on its part towards the attainment of the SDGs. However, the nation is beset by the rising hurdles on the economic front.
The Climate Ambition Summit reinforces the fact that action on climate is crucial for the attainment of the sustainable development goals as both issues are inter related and overlap with each other. Prime Minister Prachanda will present and reaffirm the remarkable efforts made by the government, private sector, civil society, and local stakeholders in Nepal towards climate change mitigation and adaptation during the UN jamboree in New York. Issues of fostering food and water security, protection of ecosystems, protection of wildlife, mitigating natural calamities like draught and flood, issues shifting weather patterns and rising wildfires are the burning issues that need immediate action.