Cabinet endorses revised  targets on combating Climate Change

Published On: December 9, 2020 02:28 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, December 9: A Cabinet meeting on Tuesday has approved the revised targets on combating climate change as part of the Paris Agreement (2015).

The "Enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions(eNDC) of Nepal," which sets out Nepal's commitment toward minimizing the impact of climate change and its vision towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and a resilient economy, was approved by the cabinet. 

Parties to the Paris Agreement, including Nepal, last year had agreed to submit their revised targets to the UNFCCC within December 2020. A ministry level task force, headed by the Climate Change Coordination Division Chief, under the Ministry of Forest and Environment(MoFE) had prepared the strategic document before submitting it to the cabinet.

With its goals of decarbonizing economies and improving resilience, the Paris Agreement established the NDC as the primary policy tool for global action for climate change. 

"The enhanced NDC was approved by the Cabinet," Dr Radha Wagle, chief of Climate Change Coordination Division, under the Ministry of Forest and Environment(MoFE), said.

In its major target relating to clean energy based transport sector, the government plans to increase sales of  e-vehicles so that 90 percent of all private passenger vehicle sales, including two-wheelers, would be  electric, and 60 percent of all four-wheeler public passenger vehicle sales would be electric by 2030, in its medium term target. 

The government hopes that the policy would help to decrease Nepal's fossil fuel dependency by 28 percent. 

As part of the short-term target, 25 percent of all private passenger and 20 percent of all four-wheeler public passenger vehicle sales would  be electric by 2025. 

It may be recalled that the  current share of electric vehicles in Nepal stands around one percent, against the NDC-16 target of increasing it to  20 percent.

Also, by 2030, the government plans to  develop 200 kms of electric rail network to support public commuting and mass transportation of goods.

In the medium term target related to residential cooking, the plan wants 25 percent of all households to use electric stoves as their primary mode of cooking. Currently, around five percent of households is estimated to use electric induction stoves, either as primary or secondary mode of cooking .

In its energy target, Nepal seeks to expand  clean energy generation from approximately 1400 MW to 15,000 MW by 2030. Of  the total  generation,  five to ten percent would be  generated from mini and micro-hydro power, solar and wind energy.

In its Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) related target, the plan seeks to  maintain 45 percent of the total area of the country under forest cover. Nepal has made progress on increasing the total forest coverage to 44 percent, against the NDC-16 target of 40 percent.

On industry targets, the government is seeking to  formulate guidelines and establish mechanisms to monitor emissions from large industries by 2025. Also by  2030, the government aims to reduce coal consumption and air pollution from brick and cement industries through development of emission standards. 

On waste management, the government seeks to treat 380 million liters of wastewater before  discharging it to the natural course. Also, it seeks to manage  60,000 cubic meters of fecal sludge every year . Currently 2.1 percent of waste water and less than one percent of the fecal sludge is treated in Nepal, according  to the official figure.

Though  Nepal's contribution to global greenhouse gas emission is negligible--only 0.027 percent of the global total--Nepal ranks fourth in the global climate risk index of the most vulnerable countries.


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