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Statement by HE the PR on Climate Change as a Global Challenge - 2 August 2007
15 July 2008 / 02:54

Statement by His Excellency Mr. Madhu Raman Acharya, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations, during the Informal Thematic Debate of the General Assembly on "Climate Change as a Global Challenge"


New York, 2 August 2007

Madame President,

1. Allow me, Madame President, to congratulate you for your initiative in convening this thematic debate on climate change.

2. I also wish to associate myself with the statement made by Pakistan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Madame President,

3. Recent reports, including that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have made revealing findings. Panelists the other day summarized these findings.

4. By now, things are clear. Climate change is real. It is happening and we humans are adding to it. The various reports tell us that we cannot afford “business as usual” and that it is possible to avert the worst case scenario, if we start to act now.

5. It is an irony that those who contribute least to emit gases that cause climate change are the most adversely affected by its effects. It is the poorest and already most vulnerable people in developing countries who will be hardest hit and soonest affected. The Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which are least responsible for global climate change, are the ones likely to be most adversely affected.

6. In Nepal, home to eight of the world’s highest snow-capped mountains in the Himalayas and over 2,300 glacial lakes, we are already witnessing the retreat of glaciers. It has been scientifically documented by the International Centre on Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), which is located in Nepal.

7. Glaciers are important parts of the life support systems in the Himalayas. Their retreat brings climate-induced threats to food security and depletes unique biodiversity and the valuable fresh water resources. They dangerously induce disasters, such as glacial lake outbursts, extreme rainfall-induced floods and landslides, and desertification.

Madame President,

8. Let me brief, as you have asked, on the national efforts and strategy in Nepal related to climate change.

9. As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, Nepal is committed to fulfilling obligation arising from them. Nepal has already shared its first national communication report on climate change.

10. In order to expedite and benefit from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the government has designated Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology as national authority for the CDM projects. The government has also constituted a Climate Change Network consisting of all stakeholders with a view to coordinate actions by the government, non-government organizations, private sector and donor organizations in the areas of policy and research and in the areas of building expertise and capacity, mainly on the CDM related activities.

11. So far, we have registered two biogas projects under CDM with the World Bank. Two micro-hydro projects have been bundled for carbon trade with the World’s Bank’s Community Development Carbon Fund.

12. We are in the process of drafting a national climate change policy and in the process of implementing our National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) with emphasis on developing coping strategies, community-based adaptation plans and local capacity building.

Madame President,

13. Climate change is a global problem and should be solved globally. We have already formulated the principles of global partnership and that of common and differentiated responsibilities. These principles should be applied in good faith.

14. Arguably, there is an urgent need to create a framework, in which the entire world can participate. We need to engage seriously to create a comprehensive regime of emission reduction beyond 2012 in a realistic timetable. The developed world, which emits most of the greenhouse gases, should demonstrate the leadership and commitment to act in a timely manner.

15. We need a coordinated response at national, sub-regional, regional and international level to properly respond to the global challenge of climate change.

16. It is necessary that we encourage creative ways to address growing threats of climate change. We must encourage low carbon economy and low carbon society. This will require change in lifestyles and change in the pattern of investment, production, and consumption.

17. In the long run, the focus should be on mitigation of the factors that cause climate change. In the short run, we need to devise adaptation measures, especially in the countries most vulnerable by the effects of climate change.

18. The least developed and most vulnerable countries should be assisted to prepare their adaptation strategy that helps them build adaptation capacity, technically and financially. They need enhanced support for infrastructure development, managerial capability, and access to climate-friendly technology to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.

19. Projects under Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the “clean development mechanism” should be made readily available to most developing countries.

Madame President,

20. We are certainly encouraged by unilateral commitments and new initiatives by various countries to reduce emissions. While we commend the various initiatives, we are hoping that they will converge at the United Nations in an internationally agreed comprehensive and all-inclusive mechanism so that we could address the issue with all the seriousness it deserves.

21. My delegation hopes this debate will foster much-needed international understanding and cooperation to addressing the global challenges of climate change. We hope the upcoming high-level event at the United Nations in September and in the Bali Conference in December this year will provide yet another opportunity to make further progress towards that direction.

I thank you, Madame President!