Nepali youth urge Trump not to pull out of Paris climate accord

Kathmandu, June 6

Nepali Youth and Mountain Community Dwellers have appealed to US President Donald Trump to take back his decision to pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

An appeal letter was submitted to the US embassy here on Monday by Nepali youth representing people living in the foothills of the Himalayan peaks, including the tallest Mount Everest.  The letter was handed over to deputy political and economic chief of the US embassy Stephanie Reed.

According to Prem Bahadur Bohara, chief executive officer of Climate Alliance of Himalayan Communities, the US embassy was receptive to the youth and their concern. Receiving the appeal letter, Stephanie assured the youth that their letter will be forwarded to the concerned authority.

On June 1 this year, US president Donald Trump announced his decision for the US to leave the Paris climate accord. The accord pledges to keep temperature rises below 1.5 Celsius, curb carbon emissions, long-term global goal for net zero emissions, among other things.

Shilshila Acharya, CEO of Himalayan Climate Initiative, said the Unites States pulling out of the Paris Agreement will slow down the process of addressing the impacts of climate change through various mitigation and adaptation strategies. “Nepal with limited resources, and the people of mountain region with limited capacity to adapt, cannot fight this alone. Addressing climate change seeks global cooperation, accountability and attention,” she added further.

It has been said that the average temperature increase in the Himalayan nation like Nepal is two to six times more than that of the world, making it most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement came as a hope for not just Himalayan nations like Nepal, but the entire world to fight against human-induced global climate change.

“The Paris Accord was one of the measures significantly contributing to control climate injustice. Withdrawal of US, a nation having a major stake in greenhouse gas emissions, will bring an adverse effect,” CEO of CAHC Bohora said, adding, “Even though Nepal’s carbon emission is nominal, it is suffering from the punishment for a crime it didn’t commit.”

The youth associated with HCI and CAHC have been campaigning to ban plastic shopping bags in Nepal through a campaign named ‘No Thanks! I Carry My Own Bag’ and to push the Nepal Government to declare the Great Himalaya Trails as a Climate Adaptation Landscape and a national pride project through a campaign named ‘HOPE- Himalayas Our Pride’.