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Statement at Secretary-General's High-level Event on Climate Change - 24 September 2007
15 July 2008 / 02:54

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Statement by Hon. Mrs. Sahana Pradhan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal and the leader of the Nepalese delegation to the Secretary-General’s high-level event entitled “The future in our hands: addressing the leadership challenge of climate change” at Thematic Plenary II. Mitigation “Reducing emission and stabilizing the climate: safeguarding our common future”

New York, 24 September 2007

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

Madame Facilitator,


Distinguished delegates,

1. Let me begin by thanking you for facilitating this important thematic plenary meeting on mitigation of climate change.

2. I commend the Secretary General for taking the initiative of setting the context for collective global response to the most challenging issue of climate change.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

3. Today, climate change has occupied a centre stage in global development and environmental agenda. It has threatened sustainable development and shaken our efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals.

4. It is our view that debate on climate change should be treated as an opportunity to achieving sustainable development, not as a threat to undermine it.

5. Climate change is taking toll in the form of melting of glaciers, rise in sea levels, extreme weather patterns and other adverse environmental phenomena.

6. Nepal is concerned that the Himalayan glaciers are receding fast. There is already significant increase in the climate-induced disasters such as increasing glacial lake outburst floods, extreme rainfall, massive landslides and recurring floods.

7. It is an irony that the least developed countries (LDCs) and small island states, which are least responsible for the climate change, are the worst affected. These countries need resources and technology for capacity building for mitigation and for adaptation. That should be done without diverting the scarce funds committed for their development.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

8. We need bolder commitments, if we are to witness a more stable global climate. First, we must fulfill the commitments for reduction of emissions in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol. Second, we must be able to agree to an extension of the commitment period beyond 2012 with new global emission reduction targets.

9. Mitigation of climate change should be reinforced in accordance with the established principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”.

10. Mitigation requires a global consensus to a cleaner, more efficient and renewable energy regime. We should be able to move towards low carbon economy and low carbon society. That will require a change in lifestyles and use of innovative technological solutions.

11. We must strengthen the “clean development mechanism” and regime for carbon trading as incentives for reduction of emissions. This mechanism should not just become a route to externalize the problem. It must be made more rational, practical and responsive to national sustainable development goals and strategies.

12. Industrialized nations have special obligation to mitigation. They should also help the least developed countries and the small island states to help build capacity to mitigate the climate change. This requires commitment for adequate resources and transfer of energy-efficient technology.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

13. Nepal emphasizes on the need of placing greater focus at the national level. This would require bigger investment in developing adaptive and mitigating capacities. This can be built in the national development plans and climate change strategies.

14. Nepal has started to incorporate environmental sustainability in development plans and projects. Nepal’s community forestry program has been a successful example in promoting sustainable and productive management of forest resources and bringing a greener growth.

Distinguished Co-Chairs,

15. We appreciate commitments by various countries to address climate change. But what we need is a common and globally agreed commitment. It is also equally important that future regime must be comprehensive, in which the entire world can participate.

16. We hope this high-level event will provide necessary impetus for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali in December this year leading to successful negotiations for a coordinated and collective global response to climate change post-2012.

17. In conclusion, climate change cannot be addressed with an “end-of-pipe” approach, which seeks to limit emissions with technical means alone. That requires our political will and commitments for reduction of emissions, plans for adaptation, and resources to match our pledges. Most importantly, this requires leadership. That leadership should come from the developed world. We in the developing world are ready to take our share of the problem and commit ourselves to mitigate climate change causing factors and to adapt from their adverse impacts, if we are supported technically and with adequate resources.

I thank you.