This article is written by Pramisha Thapaliya.
After two week of the UN climate talks, disputes over a key climate target put Nepal’s glaciers at risk.
The parties failed to reach consensus to welcome the recent IPCC report at COP24. Keeping the climate crisis in view, at COP21, parties agreed to limit the temperature to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels; and to limit the increase to 1.5ºC. And during COP 24 at Katowice, parties are working together to create Paris Rulebook, for guiding implementation of Paris Agreement.
Besides the climate change deniers, the scientific community succeeded to release the landmark IPCC report, with key scientific findings. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C was released this October, with terror-filled key scientific findings and also way to move forward with hope. This report highlights the science behind climate change, threats and impacts in developing countries and warns the world, to act now. This IPCC report has pointed the requirement of rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, to limit global warming to 1.5ºC. It is not about developed countries and developing countries; it is about you, me and us, to act now. And the report tells us that, it is possible to limit increase in temperature to 1.5ºC, if we push for thorough changes in all aspects, which is harming our planet.
COP24 is crucial as it would determine the fate of our future and planet. 2018 is our deadline to adopt Paris Work Programme for the effective implementation of Paris Agreement. And the most important aspect is, it requires mutual trust, understanding and highest level of political will. The discussions and negotiations were happening on the basis of climate change reports, including IPCC SR1.5 report and the world was moving in the way of hope, to create a stronger Paris Rulebook. But last weekend, the hopes shattered when the big oil and gas producer parties to the UNFCCC; United States, Kuwait, Russia and Saudi Arabia only wanted to ‘note’ the report without welcoming it while rest of the parties to the UNFCCC ‘welcomed’ the report. Hence, the decision moved to the next year in June . Agreeing on 1.5 in COP21 and disagreeing to acknowledge in Rulebook, is a big slap to the face of research communities, science, vulnerable communities, COP 24 and obviously our planet, which we couldn’t stand, but also with absolute no power at this moment.
LDC chair at UNFCCC said, “No one questions the impacts of climate change and variability with an increase of 1ºC. We express our gratitude to the IPCC and scientists for the special report. We are deeply disappointed that we cannot reach to consensus to welcome IPCC report”. During the meeting, all the parties to convention including Nepal, except the four mentioned above welcomed IPCC report. During COP24, President of Nepal, Bidhya Devi Bhandari had said, “We believe that the commitment to maintain the threshold of 1.5 degree Celsius as outlined in the recent IPCC Special Report will further encourage the world community to traverse resolutely in the path of low carbon emission”. But the decisions to take actions are lagging behind, in COP 24.
IPCC report is not just a scientific workout, but it is about us, people, human rights, intergenerational equity and our planet. And failure to welcome this landmark report in this crucial moment, means a lot to developing countries like Nepal. Despite low contribution to greenhouse gases emissions, countries like Nepal , are already suffering from huge impacts of climate change; from melting of Himalayas to huge question to food security issue. And here, we are unable to welcome scientific findings and struggling to include basic things like human rights , intergenerational equity and food security in Rulebook. And, failing to acknowledge these means, pushing LDCs to further dreadly climate-related risks and impacts without capacity to adapt, mitigate and build resilience to respond to impacts. Now, all we can do now is, keeping the hope, until June!!!