The presidency of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) today paid a courtesy call on President Bidhya Devi Bhandari at the latter's office in Kathmandu.

President-designate for COP26 Alok Sharma, MP of the United Kingdom, briefed President Bhandari on the priorities of the conference, and welcomed Nepal's constructive participation, given the country's longstanding contribution to climate action.

President Bhandari, while appreciating the British initiative to hold the COP26, stated that Nepal attached high importance to the climate change agenda and to the role women and youth could play for mitigation and adaptation at the grassroots level. She said collaborations at the international level would contribute to address the adverse impacts, particularly in climate-vulnerable countries such as Nepal.

Earlier today, the visiting delegation met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali at the latter's office and discussed matters of mutual interest. The COP26 president, while updating the foreign minister on the ongoing preparation, counted on Nepal's continued partnership in the run-up to the conference and its substantive participation in thematic deliberations.

Assuring the British side of Nepal's participation while reflecting on the country's strong commitment to the climate change agenda, Minister Gyawali underscored the need to garner a higher level of political will for timely translation of commitments into action. Matters such as renewable energy, mountain agenda, e-mobility, low carbon infrastructure and Sagarmatha Sambaad also figured during the meeting, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The COP26 president also met with the Minister of Forest and Environment Prem Bahadur Ale. The two sides discussed issues of Nepal-UK cooperation for environment protection, biodiversity and nature conservation.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 19, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.