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It lacks proper institutional, scientific and economic resources to adapt the climate changes making it more vulnerable to externalities of Climate change. Recent incidents of the glacial lake out-burst (Cho-Rolpa) in Nepal is the implications of the climate change which threats similar other glaciers and the whole Himalayan region.
Apart from the fossil fuels, deforestation and the changes in the land uses are also responsible for net increases in the carbon dioxide emissions where Nepal is moving towards adapting different strategies of Mitigation and Adaptation. Therefore, climate change seeks action at two major areas. First is the mitigation of the greenhouse gases and the second is the adaptation to the climate change.
Nepal’s Mitigation and Adaptation strategy towards Climate Change
Mitigation and adaptation are the strategic tools that deal with the cause and effect part of the global climate change. A mitigation strategy tries to eliminate the cause of global climate change whereas adaptation strategies try to minimize the adverse effects of the climate change.
-With the donor-driven Mitigation activities rather than the country driven, Nepal’s national priority is not the global environment but the local one. Moreover, the efforts have resulted in improvement of the local pollution, raising awareness, energy conservation, and technology transfer.
- Adaptation to the climate change is the area where Nepal has more stakes. Implications of the climate changes to the fragile mountain ecosystem, fresh water, and extreme weather events, agriculture, human health and others are taking its toll where the people living in the selected area are facing serious problems.
Main focus of the Conference
Focusing UFCCC and Kyoto protocol in implementing the Bali road Map: The Bali Roadmap mandates the implementation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol, creating a secure, full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC with priority to mitigation, adaption, technology transfer and financial support. This will further help in reducing emission rate for developed countries according to the standard set under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
Cooperation and Flexibility in responsibility: The developed national should take responsibility for the past degradation of the climate and further move on to reduce their emission with regards to the standards set according to future agreement. They should further help in assisting the most impacted countries with possible resources including technological transfer and take proactive measures to adapt and mitigate the climate change. The agreement should also focus on charging the high GHG emitting members according to their emission rate.
Creating an effective mechanism: The Conference should focus on creating an effective mechanism to adapt mitigation, adaption, technology transfer and financial support. It should give equal priorities to the weakest links giving them opportunity to stand up and facilitate them with effective resources. Nevertheless, financing and technology are indispensible means to achieve mitigation and adaptation where the mechanism should focus on the effective technology transfer.
Nepal’s position is very clear in context of COP 15, as climate change has hit us hard, so we believe in the implementation of Bali agreement and further move ahead with the second phase of Kyoto Protocol in adapting the most effective measures in reducing the Green house gas effect. The developed nation should further move to reduce their emission rate effectively in supporting the most impacted country in every possible way socially, financially and by transferring effective technologies.
Global warming or climate changes is a concern of everyone so the COP 15 should further move in cooperation and coalition addressing the needs and problems of the climate change in securing the future. The conference should also focus on giving substance to the voices of the smaller countries and try to understand the pragmatic grounds of developed nation. The efforts should be diverted towards a mutual point of being responsible in making united efforts of saving our earth.
Strategies of Adaptation
1. A new climate change agreement must consist of a shared vision to combat climate change and contain a clear regulatory framework that is valid for a long period of time, ideally until 2050, in order to provide enduring incentives for climate-friendly investments. Interim targets should also be established to trigger immediate action through incentives that are effective in the short-term. A system with medium and long-term targets is necessary both to give enterprises the necessary investment and planning security and to ensure that targets are met.
2. Development of innovative technologies and technology transfer. The development and application of innovative technologies and technology transfer are decisive to combat global climate change. So effective research and development need to be given adapting the best of what can be achieved.
3. The least developed countries and those facing the greatest threats should be supported in adapting to the consequences of climate change. The financial resources of the existing Adaptation Fund, which was established for this purpose, should be increased with grants from the public and the private sector. Industry can contribute to adaptation measures in particular through developing and providing appropriate technologies.
4. The international climate change agreement must aim to minimize competitive distortions on the markets through a globally uniform price for greenhouse gas emissions
5. Enhanced action on adaptation, dealing more specifically with:
Ø Objectives with respect to adapting to the impacts of climate change
Ø Supporting and undertaking the implementation of adaptation actions
Ø Addressing risk reduction, management and sharing of efforts to adapt to climate change
Ø Institutional arrangements to assist in the implementation of adaptation actions, and
Ø Monitoring and reviewing mechanisms for adaptation actions
Strategies of Mitigation
1. In order to combat climate change in a globally effective and cost-efficient way, the post-2012 agreement must include further development of the project-based on Kyoto Joint Implementation (JI) and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). These provide the opportunity to finance clean technologies and implement climate change measures in emerging and developing countries.
2. All efforts to reduce emissions must be measurable and verifiable as mentioned in the Bali Roadmap. An effective compliance system must be developed to enable transparent and verifiable comparison of the climate change efforts of the different countries. The post- Kyoto agreement must include an effective sanctioning mechanism for non-compliance with reduction targets. Improving CDM and JI
3. Development of innovative technologies and technology transfer is another aspect of Mitigation. The development and application of innovative technologies and technology transfer are decisive to combat global climate change.
4. CDM and JI projects should be used more widely for the transfer of environmental technologies as in view of the trend in the worldwide distribution of CO2 emissions, projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be particularly efficient and effective in developing and emerging countries.
5. Enhanced action on mitigation, dealing more specifically with:
Ø objectives with respect to adapting to the impacts of climate change
Ø supporting and undertaking the implementation of adaptation actions
Ø addressing risk reduction, management and sharing of efforts to adapt to climate change
Ø institutional arrangements to assist in the implementation of adaptation actions, and
Ø monitoring and reviewing mechanisms for adaptation actions
Many emerging countries such as China and India have considerable current account surpluses with which they are able to acquire technologies on the market. Developing countries need financial support to obtain key technologies for mitigating climate change.
Nepal being an under developed country and having less emission rate certain portrays it preeminence but the impact of the climates change and GHG in it territory has been immense where it needs to further raise questions for mitigation and adaption. The past experiences of the temperature rise in the Himalayan region have brought inevitable conditions where the drastic changes have suffered the consequence in both Visual Appearance of snow melting and accidents.
There is no argument that, economic development policy of Nepal should not compromise with the policies to mitigate GHG emissions but Nepal’s policies should try to flow in cooperation creating an effective scenario of saving the changes by effective measure of both mitigation and adaption where effort counts.
Amid the changing environment a framework should be devised targeting the adaptation and mitigation measures, which would ensure a smooth flow of both excluding conflicting outcomes. The goal for long-term cooperation should be comprehensive that should consists of sustainable development, mitigation, adaptation, financing and technology adapting the developed to the least developed countries with addressing their need and problems. In terms of mitigation, the developed countries as a whole should reduce their GHG emissions according to the standard set by the conference on mutual understanding.
Thus the Copenhagen Climate Conference should focus on full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol prioritizing positive outcome, for mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and financial support.
COP- Conference of Parties
GHG- Green House Gas
GLOF- Glacial Lake Outburst Flooding
CDM- Clean Development Mechanism
UNFCCC- United National Framework Convention on Climate Change
REDD - Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries
NAMAs- Nature of nationally appropriate mitigation actions
IPCC- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Professing, the role of production of green house gasses, a large percentage of the emission is also related to electricity production where great quantities of fossil fuels are used in producing electricity. The Nuclear energy provides a better option in producing the non fossil electricity  but the high investment, dangers of radiation or inevitable risks of catastrophic nuclear accidents and also increases the threat of nuclear weapons expansion and research  .
It’s neither the cheapest of the non-fossil fuel alternatives, nor is it the cleanest, but still the demand of nuclear power is growing due to its flexibility of operation and mass energy production capacity .
Moreover, the booming of the renewable technologies has outstripped the nuclear power in development and performance, while ensuring the cost, effectiveness and efficiency, but is yet struggling to adapt the market. There are variable options like Wind Power, Solar Photo Voltaic, Solar Thermal, Geo Thermal, Hydro electricity; Bio Mass, Land gasses etc which are being explored and small fraction of it are being used in different parts of the world . More or less, whether it’s nuclear or any form of energy, if it helps in reducing the rate of emission in any way should certainly be capitalized where its pros and cons should be well evaluated .
Now, looking back to the Nuclear energy prospects, the initial investment for setting up a nuclear plant may be huge or in billions but the average cost of producing nuclear energy is less than the cost of using fossil fuel or coal or hydroelectric which seems very lucrative and adaptive. Moving on the advancement in technology will bring the cost down further in the future but inherently the threats of nuclear power station also shadow its prospects .
Nuclear energy is well recognized as an alternative energy where its demand has reached to the priority of developed and developing nation. To the level, Nuclear power is regarded as one of the options available for alleviating the risk of global climate change and Green house gases s effects, where controversies are raised in and against the use of Nuclear power . Further research and development is necessary in order to assess the technical and economical feasibility of those applications where the renewable options should be give chance on the basis of efficiency and effectiveness . As it’s said that an effort of a person is not a worth but the idea is worth catching thousand of mind where we as an individual can make a difference.
1. In December 1997 governments met in Kyoto, Japan, where they agreed the Kyoto Protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, meaning that governments were committed to stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would minimize climate change. The electricity generating sector contributes a large percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions by burning fossil fuels. Nuclear energy, along with renewable such as solar, wind and hydro generates electricity without greenhouse gas emissions.
Nuclear energy provides a fully developed non-fossil electricity generating option with the potential for large scale expansion. A continued steady growth of nuclear energy will allow countries to avoid emitting greenhouse gases from their electricity sector and help them to meet their Kyoto commitment.
2. In the United States, for example, no new nuclear power stations have been ordered since 1978. This has happened in a country which launched the Pressurized Water Reactor design and which houses many more nuclear reactors than any other country. Construction and operating costs have risen so dramatically, especially since the extra safety demands made after the accident at Three Mile Island, that some companies have faced bankruptcy.
In the United Kingdom, after a review of the privatization of the nuclear power industry, the government dismissed the industry’s demands for public funding to build new reactors to combat global warming. Six months later, British Energy cancelled two proposed stations, leaving the UK for the first time in over 40 years with no plans for new nuclear power stations.
3. In the Kyoto Protocol, agreed upon by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 1997, Annex I countries committed to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Also, the Protocol states that Annex I countries shall undertake promotion, research, development and increased use of new and renewable forms of energy, of carbon dioxide sequestration technologies and of advanced and innovative environmentally sound technologies. One important option that could be covered by the last phrase, and is not specifically mentioned, is nuclear energy which is essentially carbon free.
In this connection, the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) has investigated the role that nuclear power could play in alleviating the risk of global climate change. The main objective of the study is to provide a quantitative basis for assessing the consequences for the nuclear sector and for the reduction of GHG emissions of alternative nuclear development paths. The analysis covers the economic, financial, industrial and potential environmental effects of three alternative nuclear power development paths (“nuclear variants”).
Ø Variant I, “continued nuclear growth”, assumes that nuclear power capacity would grow steadily, reaching 1 120 GWe* in 2050.
Ø Variant II, “phase-out”, assumes that nuclear power would be phased out completely by 2045.
Ø Variant III, “stagnation followed by revival”, assumes early retirements of nuclear units in the short term (to 2015) followed by a revival of the nuclear option by 2020 leading to the same nuclear capacity in 2050 as in variant I.
4. Challenges for the Nuclear Industry
Ø Variant I: The main challenges would be to ensure that nuclear power retains and improves it economic competitive position relative to alternative energy sources, and to enhance public understanding and acceptance of nuclear power.
Ø Variant II: The nuclear sector will be challenged to meet the need for maintaining capabilities and know how to ensure the safe decommissioning of nuclear units and final disposal of radioactive wastes. Nuclear industries in a number of OECD countries have demonstrated already that capability. This variant might exacerbate challenges within the non nuclear energy sectors, in regard to long term security of supply and meeting UNFCCC commitments.
Ø Variant III: would challenge the nuclear industry to ensure that technical and economic preparedness would be maintained and enhanced during more than two decades of stagnation, in order to keep the nuclear option open. A revival of nuclear power by 2015 is assumed to be based upon technologies that are able to compete favorably with advanced fossil fuelled technologies, renewable sources and other options for alleviating the risk of global climate change.
5. Nuclear energy is expensive. It is in fact one of the least expensive energy sources. In 2004, the average cost of producing nuclear energy in the United States was less than two cents per kilowatt-hour, comparable with coal and hydroelectric. Advances in technology will bring the cost down further in the future.
6. Nuclear waste is produced at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mining to the reprocessing of spent nuclear. Much of this waste will remain hazardous for thousands of years, leaving a deadly radioactive legacy to future generations.
At nuclear power stations, highly radioactive waste has to be regularly removed from the reactor and at most sites this spent fuel is being stored temporarily in water-filled cooling ponds. According to independent experts, the global quantity of spent fuel produced without a climate based radical expansion of nuclear power is expected to increase from 145,000 tones in 1994, to 322,000 tones by the year 2010. Whilst a variety of disposal methods have been under discussion for decades, there is still no demonstrated method for isolating nuclear waste from the environment for adequate time periods.
As part of the routine operation of every nuclear power station, some waste materials are also discharged directly into the environment. Liquid waste is discharged into the sea and gaseous waste is released into the atmosphere.
7. Nuclear Weapons: Uncontrollable World-wide Proliferation
Plutonium is an inevitable consequence of nuclear power production. The plutonium is contained in the spent nuclear fuel. It is one of the most radiotoxic and dangerous substances in existence. A single microgram, smaller than a speck of dust, can cause fatal cancer if inhaled or ingested and a sphere of plutonium smaller than a tennis ball can be used to make a nuclear bomb capable of killing many thousands of people.
The links between the civilian use of nuclear technology and military applications is one of the most disturbing aspects of the nuclear age. The very first, crude nuclear reactors were specifically built in the 1940s and 1950s to produce plutonium for the US, former Soviet Union and British bombs. Only later were they adapted to generate nuclear electricity.
As nuclear technology spreads around the globe, so does the risk of nuclear proliferation. Nuclear weapons can be constructed using plutonium from either military or civilian sources.
The two stoke diesel Tempos not only emitted dangerous gases but were proving to be a threat to Kathmandu’s climate. Over the last two decades air pollution in Kathmandu had worsened due to increased of Nitrogen oxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and suspended particulate matter (SPM) levels. The move to ban two-stroke and diesel engine vehicles not only brought the issue of green house gas effect in lime light but on contrary befalls the ban on older vehicles in Nepal.
After that move, the government announced 22 point agenda to improve the vehicle emission level in the country along with the introduction of Nepal Vehicle Mass Emission Standard 2056 on 23 December 1999.
Likewise, with the fall of Vikram tempos, the Electric Vehicles (EVs) Safa Tempos were introduced as an alternative to support the old means of transportation. In recognition of the fall of the vital public system, Vikram Tempo owners were given subsidies, loans and tax free on import of vehicles that met the Euro- I standards. Since then, EVs or Safa Tempo, have been steadily increasing in numbers. Now, according to one of the retailer, Shree Eco Visionary (SEV), there are more than 1000 EVs plying Kathmandu streets handling more than 0.15 million people regularly on daily basis.
Nepal had introduced the first vehicle emission standard in 1995 after the completion of Nepal Kathmandu Valley Vehicle Emission Control Project submitted its report where the emission standard were often modified in the past with pressure from transport entrepreneurs, but now things have changed. The new Vehicle Mass Emission Standard 2056 has set 65 HSU (Hartridge Smoke Unit) for new diesel vehicles and 75 HSU for old ones. For petrol vehicles it was set at 3 percent Carbon Monoxide (CO) for new and 4.5 percent CO for old where the atmosphere of Kathmandu is at eased.
The Improvement in vehicular exhaust emissions came as a result of the government’s promptness in realizing the threat which further helped in channelizing and materializing the policies in assuring the enforcement of a progressively tighter vehicular emission standards where the policy are set in to protect and facilitate the climate.
WWF is working to restore and reconnect natural landscapes across the Eastern Himalayas. By 2012, they aim to develop a shared vision with the governments of Nepal for the conservation and sustainable development of the Eastern Himalayas.World Wide Fund, has been actively working in Nepal for raising awareness.
Famed Nepalese climber Apa Sherpa reached the summit of the planet’s highest mountain on 21 May, 2009 and unfurled a WWF banner saying: "Stop Climate Change – Let the Himalayas Live!"As part of the Climate for Life Campaign, which aims to raise awareness of climate change impacts in the Himalayas, the expedition reminds world leaders of their responsibility towards preserving the region as a global heritage. And it calls on them to reach a global climate deal at Copenhagen this December.
International centre for integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
ICIMOD Nepal has been successfully working in the field of raising awareness in the Himalayan region where the changes have been prominent. It has organized different campaigns
Children express their concerns about climate change and its impact on their environment through art and letter writing competitions, - June, 2009
Himalaya – Changing Landscapes photo in Germany exhibition showcasing the prominent changes in the Himalayan region, - June 2009
Holding different international research for collecting data’s and working in the field to create awareness. More than 40 representatives from global conservation organizations in 15 countries met at a workshop organized by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu, Nepal, to discuss a strategy for coordinated research on global change in mountain biosphere reserves, and especially the possibilities for implementing the ‘Global Change in Mountain Regions’ research strategy (GLOCHAMORE) at different sites around the world, particularly in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region, -Nov 2008
The World Conservation Union (IUCN)
IUCN Nepal has been celebrating Environment Day every year, to renew public commitment towards the environment conservation and also help involve social sectors towards channeling environmental values and broadening public support for the cause. Every year the Organization celebrates the environment day to spread awareness about the increasing environment problems
The IUCN in collaboration with National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), WWF Nepal and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), will conduct scoping visits, organize multi-stakeholder consultations to review the draft constitutional provisions, and finalize the constitutional provisions on environmental rights. The project aims at mainstreaming environmental rights and sustainable development principles that represent the interests of all Nepali citizens, with particular attention to those of women, poor and marginalized people into the new constitution of Nepal.
A lot of activities and things are happening in Nepal regarding raising awareness of climate change. Most of them are either focused in spending their grant money or allocated money but to a level the people have been reached and awareness is flowing in a steadily way. But on real grounds, Nepal face turmoil due to lack of proper environment policy and the orthodox system that lacks effectiveness in monitoring and evaluating these INGOs and NGOs in regard to their work and reports forwarded by them.
By Shreedeep Rayamajhi
Saturday, August 15, 2009
The Ministry has adopted high priority over the vehicle pollution and its emission issue where recently it initiated the banned of two stoke tempos’ which emitted a lot of green house gases from the valley. Apart from that the ministry has also facilitated the use of the Electric vehicles (EV) known as the Safa Tempos. More or less, there are things happing where the ministry holds rallies and awareness campaign on environment day focusing the various aspects of pollution and conservation, but is limited and questionable.
Facilitating the environment, the Ministry in coordination with the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation has established various programs of community forest and tree plantation which to an extent have given successful results in raising awareness about environment in the locals. Amid the limited resources, orthodox system and bureaucracy, this seems more than what could be expected.
Regarding the international organization, basically there are more than a dozen of international organizations working in the field; most prominently the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), World wide fund (WWF) and IUCN are the basic organizations that work for the cause. The big INGOs with huge grants and funds, hosts various meeting and conferences in 5 star hotels where the donation money is waste in lavish parties. Contemplating the scenario only a negligible amount of money is spent on the real cause. These International organizations highlight their concern over the growing environmental problems within the reports and presentations which are just limited within conferences and meetings. On real ground nothing checks in where Million of dollars are being wasted in the name of awareness.
In one of my experience in a discussion program on climate change and its affects, one of the participant state that, “Nepal being a small country stands no point in the international arena. Our voice stand no where and our contribution towards green house gases is also very less but reality is global warming has hit us hard where physical evidences are clearly visible. In fact raising awareness in Nepal has no point because it would not effect in any way where our voice do no count in the international arena.”
The discussion ended in a controversial way but reality is do we need awareness because till the time powerful countries like US, and UK realize that their emission has affected the atmosphere and till the time they take action against it, I think raising awareness in somewhat like treating nose when u have a tooth ache.
By Shreedeep Rayamajhi
To add treachery, the development of industrialization peaked, tussling in between countries where the industry smoked out gases as a competition for development. The situation worsened when massive deforestation was carried out in the name of settlement and survival.
Weakening the natural recycling mechanism was not a question or query then but today when it has brought big consequences where everybody is bound to think of their past, presence and future.
I strongly believe the international community should concentrate its effort to stabilized or lower the concentration of the green house gases. Moreover, the developed countries should share the large portion of their effort, time and money, as today’s situation has evolved on the base of their development where the entire world is suffering the consequences. The responsibility of greenhouse effect should be distributed to all the countries in respect to their size and development as we all in one or the other way we all have contributed our efforts to push it to this state.
Human development has landed us to this scenario where our development should focus in making the wrong into right. We all have played our parts now a time has come to unit and do a joint effort to make this planet safe and beautiful.
By Shreedeep Rayamajhi
With the booming of internet, it has expanded the horizon in facilitating and introducing new services making it possible to virtually do anything that can be thought of whereas on contrary; the internet has also developed various threats and weakness. These loop holes are manipulated by wrong doers in exploiting the innocent which are further mentioned below.
More or less, policies and mechanism have been developed but are very limited and prepared according to the feasibility of developed nation where the developing and underdeveloped countries lies at the stake of uncertainty. This gap between the developed counties and remaining has resulted in a conflict where rules and regulation remains stagnant to each other giving space for externalities and irregularities. This situation has led into manipulation and exploitation where child abuse, cyber crimes, identity theft, copyrights issue, hacking etc are in the trend of rise. Whether it’s about hacking or child exploitation or pornography, internet security today is the most vulnerable issue whish demand a proper mechanism and regulation. Due to absence of standardization in policies and mechanism the externalities are materializing to a new level where it’s establishing itself as threat to everyone in one or the other form. However, the issue of security is high on alert where especially developing and underdeveloped countries are suffering the consequence due to the laps of standard security policy. The time demands standardization in every aspect of internet where growth and further prospect surely depends on that.
According to Jeremy Malcolm, “Multi-stakeholder governance is a fresh approach to the development of public policy, bringing together governments, the private sector and civil society in partnership. The movement towards this new governance paradigm has been most marked in areas involving global networks of stakeholders, too intricate to be represented by governments alone. Nowhere is this better illustrated than on the Internet, where it is an inherent characteristic of the network that laws, and the conduct to which those laws are directed, will cross national borders.”
Thus, the concept of Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a dynamic approach which gives opportunities to multi stake holders in overcoming the various aspects of net neutrality and digital divide. It also helps in further accessing to establish a uniform mechanism addressing the needs of all the stakeholders from developed countries to developing and underdeveloped countries. Especially the vacuum between the developed and developing /underdeveloped countries needs a certain platform which would address their problems and issues. It would further help in highlighting the corporate or social responsibility prioritizing the rights of information access by completely abolishing discrimination. I strongly believe that IGF is an effective tool which needs to be reviewed as a weapon against irregularities and externalities where the developed nation should endorse it for future growth and prospects.
Advantages of IGF
* A board platform to address issues and problems
* A standard policy and mechanism to address the problems of world over
* Control over digital divide and net neutrality
*No bias system
*Equal opportunity of business and exposure
* Bilateral relationship
* Effectiveness in growth and monitoring of internet
* Issue like pornography, cyber crimes, hacking and exploitation can be easily overcome
* Better security policies
Disadvantages of IGF
* Hard to control and monitor due to number of countries
* Hard for developing and under developed to keep up with developed countries in terms of technology and manpower
* Standard policies means competition which would be hard for underdeveloped and developing countries