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Saber emphasises urgent action on climate change at International Expert Dialogue in Nepal

Saber emphasises urgent action on climate change at International Expert Dialogue in Nepal

Staff Correspondent

Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Minister, Saber Hossain Chowdhury has underscored the critical role of the Hindu Kush Himalayas in the global climate landscape, describing the region as "ground zero for climate change."

He said this while delivering a compelling speech at the inaugural session of the International Expert Dialogue on Mountain, People, and Climate held at Chandragiri Hill Resort, Kathmandu, Nepal on Wednesday.

Chowdhury stressed the paramount importance of de-carbonization, pointing out the inherent limitations of current adaptation and mitigation measures, said a ministry press release here this afternoon.

"Unless we decarbonise, whatever we try to do in terms of adaptation and mitigation measures and those are not enough. There are limits to adaptation and resilience," he stated.

He criticised the paradoxical approach of increasing carbon emissions while formulating National Adaptation Plans, arguing that such contradictions exacerbate the problem.

Highlighting the concept of climate justice, Chowdhury articulated the disparity faced by nations like Bangladesh and Nepal, which contribute minimally to global emissions but suffer disproportionately from climate impacts.

He lamented the difficult choices governments are forced to make between combating poverty and addressing climate change, calling it "a great injustice."

Bangladesh's significant financial commitment to climate adaptation was contrasted with the global community's failure to deliver on promised funding.

"We can subsidise fossil fuels to the extent of seven trillion dollars a year, but the national adaptation plans are not funded. This double standard has to be stopped," Chowdhury asserted, emphasizing the urgent need for genuine global action.

He highlighted the interconnected nature of climate impacts, affecting not just mountains but also ice sheets, snow, glaciers, and permafrost.

Chowdhury called for immediate actions to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, warning that even a tenth of a degree increase could have catastrophic impacts.

"If we can get it right here, we can get it right for the rest of the world. This is a global existential issue."

In closing, he urged the respective authorities to undertake localized initiatives and collective efforts, emphasizing that the solutions lie within our capabilities and political will.

Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ delivered the inaugural address under the chairmanship of Nawal Kishor Sah Sudi, Minister for Forests and Environment, Government of Nepal.

Minister of Bhutan, chair of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body; UN Resident Coordinator, Nepal; Special Representative of the President of Kyrgyzstan and representatives of international organizations also spoke at the session.

A keynote was presented by Baikuntha Aryal, chief secretary of the Government of Nepal.

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