Until a few days ago, my wife was suggesting we own a motorbike to add luxury to our daily commute. It was only after I told her about my climate commitment at the personal level that she readily gave up the idea. Though my small step may sound like a drop in the ocean, I reckon more drops coalesce to at least make a stream out of it. Though Nepalis have limited contribution to climate change thanks to us being less industrialised, we share the success the human being has so far attained through innovation and industrialisation. As Nepalis also climate vulnerable, we should show our commitment and seek others'.
Capped by the Himalayas and rich in biodiversity, Nepal will be at the receiving end of the worst of climate change.
The recent incessant rains after the monsoon season ended, damaging ready-to-harvest paddy worth billions of rupees, underline our necessity to speak up about it.
Glasgow, Scotland, is hosting COP26 (Conference of Parties-26th) on November 1-2 this week. World leaders will disclose their commitment to limit global warming to 1.5-2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrialisation period (1850-1900 AD) in line with the Paris Accord signed in 2015. While Nepal is set to be in search of a market to sell its renewable hydroelectricity, ironically, the big emitters are struggling to find ways to replace fossil fuels with green energy to meet their climate commitments.
As global citizens, it's also our responsibility that we behave wisely so that we contribute in the global fight against temperature rise. While countries will make their commitment that will impact how their citizens go about their daily lives, a commitment of some sort in personal capacity is a must, too.
Our climate commitment should be translated into acts and guidelines to showcase our written commitment. Reforestation to restore our prized carbon sink while preventing wildfires in the dry season in the jungles should be a national agenda. Households must switch to electric stoves from liquefied petroleum gas.
Not burning household wastes and agricultural stubbles can be done on a personal level. An idea of using renewable packaging materials, where possible, still needs to materialise.
Of course, all these will come at a higher cost of living, but this is necessary. So, climate financing is needed from the richer countries to help the poor ones plan their mitigation strategies. Only through a collaborative approach can we tackle the climate crisis. Nepal should not only be a recipient of climate finance but should also be rewarded for being a green energy surplus country.
Nepal should stake this claim at the summit.
A version of this article appears in the print on November 02, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.