Status paper for Copenhagen meet ready

KATHMANDU: The country's status paper to be presented at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled to be held from December 7 to 18 in Copenhagen has been finalised.

"The status paper is ready now and it's up to the government to modify it, if needed," said Dr Adarsha Pokharel, a climate change expert, who was also one of the members of the preparation of the status paper.

The Ministry of Environment (MoE) had entrusted an NGO -- Association for the Development of Environment and People in Transition -- to prepare the document.

"Our mountain ecosystem is very fragile and the Himalayas are the most vulnerable due to climate change. Hence, it's really imperative to make an alliance of the similar mountain ecosystem countries so that our voice will be more strong in the global arena," said Bal Krishna Prasain, former secretary, MoE.

The status paper floats the concept of the climate change insurance policy to help the most vulnerable communities. "The insurance policy can help the needy people but the government should come up with clear vision," said Pokharel.

Once such insurance policy is adopted, then the most vulnerable communities can claim for their properties if affected by climate change. "It would be better if the government collects some fund and negotiate with the insurance companies in this regard," said Prasain.

However, experts in this sector are down with the global negotiation held in Bangkok in early October.

"The Bangkok meeting has really made us pessimistic and we have got the clear indication that the Copenhagen meet will be no more than a mere formality," claimed Pokharel.

"There is very less chance to reach on consensus about the reduction of the green house gas. Moreover, developing countries like Nepal can expect nothing from the Copenhagen meeting as the developed and developing countries' war will shadow our problem," said Ajaya Dixit, another climate change expert.

What's in Nepal's status paper?

• Stabilisation of the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration should be at below 350 parts per million (ppm).

• Global average surface temperature increase should limit to well below 1.5 degree Celsius reference to pre-industrial level.

• Developed countries must reduce their GHG emission by more than 45 per cent of their 1990 levels by 2020.

• Developed countries must invest at least one per cent of GDP for climate change adaptation on the developing and least developed countries.

• Funding climate change is not donation but is the payment for the damage caused by the developed countries. Hence, the financial support should be unconditional and direct.

• Sustainable technology transfer must be ensured.