5 September 2022, Kathmandu: 10 more prominent parliamentarians from Nepal yesterday endorsed the ‘Parliamentarians’ call for a fossil fuel free future’ to address the urgency of a swift and just transition away from fossil fuel energy and building democratic, renewable, safe energy systems for all people and communities in line with the goal of keeping global temperature rise below to 1.5 degrees Celsius and preventing climate catastrophe.
The ten MPs – Purna Kumari Subedi, Bhupendra Bahadur Thapa, Dr. Minendra Rijal, Barshaman Pun, Surendra Pandey, Ram Kumari Chaudhary, Raj Bahadur Budha, Shantimaya Tamang Pakhrin, Satya Narayan Sharma, and Dal Bahadur Rana – are prominent and eloquent leaders who have pushed the climate agenda in Parliament. This takes the total number of Nepal MPs endorsing a fossil fuel free future to 17; the earlier MPs who signed are Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, Belimaiya Ghale, Dr. Bimala Rai Paudyal, Radha Kumari Gyawali, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Sujita Shakya, and Sumitra BC. The total number of endorsing South Asian Parliamentarians now stands at 21. They join a growing number of climate-concerned parliamentarians across the globe, who have called for a fossil fuel free future in an effort to persuade governments, public institutions and corporations to take more decisive climate actions particularly in shifting away from fossil fuels and accelerating the development of renewable and clean energy systems. To-date more than 240 members of Parliaments from 63 countries have signed the call.
Nepal has been at the forefront in seeking a change from a fossil fuel dependency – not very long ago, the Nepalese cities of Dhulikhel and Itahari became the first two cities in South Asia to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Member of Parliament, Dr. Minendra Rijal said: “The impacts of climate change on Nepalese people’s livelihoods are grave. Though Nepal’s contribution to greenhouse gases is minimal, we have been bearing the burden of climate change with temperatures rising higher than before. The glaciers are receding, snowfall is reducing and snow is melting in the Himalayas.” He also said that by endorsing a fossil fuel free future, he was committed to helping Nepal work to develop short- and long-term plans to target climate change.
“Nepal is committed to eliminating the use of fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable energy. Hundreds of parliamentarians around the world have called for a fossil fuel free future to address fossil fuel production that is driving the climate crisis, and I am happy that Nepal has been a front runner in this initiative from among the countries of the South Asian region”, said Surendra Pandey, one of Nepal’s parliamentarians who saw the urgent need to work towards a fossil fuel free future.
The impacts of climate change on the people of Nepal and their livelihoods have been grave. As is clear from the refrain of the parliamentarians, they are well aware that although Nepal’s contribution to climate change has been negligible, the country has been bearing the burden of climate change and its compounded stress on vital infrastructures and social services. While the Government of Nepal is working to develop short- and long-term plans to target climate change, one main action is to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, and transition to renewable energy, which the Parliamentarians’ Call for a Fossil Fuel Free Future seeks to address through a collective voice.
Nakul Sharma, Program Lead at Climate Action Network South Asia, said: “With this endorsement, Nepal wins the distinction of being the first and largest group of parliamentarians from South Asia to have done so. It reiterates their commitment towards efforts to mitigate climate change, undeniably the biggest crisis in the world today.”
Mukul Sharma, Program Coordinator, Climate Parliament, noted: “I congratulate the ten parliamentarians from Nepal, who along with the seven who signed earlier will be a formidable voice in calling for a fossil fuel free future. With this, Nepal’s leadership has joined hands with thousands of leaders globally, who are committing to clean energy-centric initiatives. This also makes Nepal the leader in South Asia of local and global environmental solutions, and I hope other South Asian parliamentarians and leaders will follow suit.”
The Parliamentarians’ Call sets out key demands, calling for new levels of international cooperation, as well as commitments and treaties complementing the Paris Agreement which would:
An up-to-date list of the signatories and the full text of their call is available at fossilfuelfreefuture.org
Divyanshi Yadav, Communications Associate, CAN South Asia : firstname.lastname@example.org | +91 – 99997 09745
Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) is Asia’s largest coalition of NGOs addressing the climate crisis, with almost 300 member organisations from eight South Asian countries – India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan and Afghanistan. www.cansouthasia.net
The Climate Parliament is an international, multi-partisan network of legislators working worldwide to help solve the climate crisis and accelerate the transition to renewable energy. www.climateparl.net
Parliamentarians’ Call for a Fossil Fuel Free Future is a group of nationally elected officials in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific calling on other parliamentarians worldwide to speak as one in calling for decisive action on a global transition away from coal, oil and gas – the source of 80% of carbon dioxide emissions since the industrial revolution. www.fossilfuelfreefuture.org