The 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) is approaching, which is this year’s UN climate summit (UNFCCC). The 198 countries who have ratified the convention gather annually for this assembly as a means of reaffirming their shared commitment to resolving the issues raised by climate change and developing mitigation and adaptation plans. Notably, the Himalayan nations of South Asia are hard at work getting ready for this important occasion.
Speaking at the national conference on climate change in Kathmandu, Nepal’s prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, issued a warning. He warned of impending food security issues, an increase in the number of catastrophes brought on by climate change, and a rising shortage of drinkable water. Nepal is expected to bring attention to these issues at the next COP28. During the conference, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his commitment to strongly advocating for wealthy and developed countries to keep their promises to slow down the increase in global temperatures.
During COP28, Nepal plans to make a statement about its commitment to climate action and stress the need for swift and comprehensive implementation of agreements in order to obtain climate funds as grants for resilience and adaptation. With reference to the melting and exploding glaciers, the increasing frequency of landslides and dry droughts in hilly regions, and the widespread flood disasters in the Terai region, PM Dahal emphasized the climate-related difficulties facing Nepal. He pointed out that the significant melting of two-thirds of the mountain glaciers in the area is caused by global warming.
The prime minister made the point that vulnerable populations—such as low-income families, small-scale farmers, disadvantaged ethnic communities, women, children, the elderly, and those with physical disabilities—are disproportionately impacted by the negative effects of climate change. He underlined the wide-ranging effects of climate change on vital industries like agriculture, tourism, and hydropower, as well as on areas that support the national economy including livelihoods, food security, health, and water supply.
When visiting Nepal, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres brought attention to the startling pace at which the nation’s glaciers were disappearing, echoing similar worries. He emphasized the need to solve climate-related issues immediately by characterizing the situation as “dire and accelerating.” The gravity of the situation was also emphasized by the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Global warming may cause glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, which includes parts of Asia, to lose up to 75% of their volume by the end of the century, according to ICIMOD’s study. Concerns are raised by this concerning prediction on the possible outcomes, which might include dangerous floods and a lack of water for the 240 million people that live in the hilly area.
Nepal is prepared to voice its concerns and promote international collaboration to solve the urgent problems made worse by climate change as COP28 draws near. Leaders at the national and international levels have emphasized the gravity of the situation, which highlights how vital it is to work together to lessen the effects of climate change on vulnerable populations and the environment.