As a part of the regular climate discussion, Clean Energy Nepal (CEN) organised a special interaction programme on Environment and Climate Change on the National Budget on July 21, 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Various representatives from civil society, development agencies and media participated at this event.
Mr Raju P Chettri from CEN who facilitated the programme mentioned that it was important for civil society representatives to review the budget with a critical lens to see how the environment and climate change have been prioritised in it.
Mr Manjeet Dhakal presenting on the status of funding allocated to environmental and climate change related issues in the Budget 2014/15 informed those gathered that nearly 1900 children were dying in Nepal alone, due to environmental pollution. He also highlighted the financial strain climate change has caused to the national economy. With agriculture contributing to one third of the National GDP and 65-75.5% of employment, it is without doubt the economic backbone of the country, yet a sector highly at risk due to climate change. with such impacts the future cost of climate change is estimated at approximately 2-3% of the national GDP by mid century.
In 2014, the Nepal Government allocated NPR 1.75 billion for the agriculture research programme; NPR 560 million to curtail encroachment of the Bagmati river area (the major river system of Kathmandu Valley) and NPR 630 million for the continuation of rain water harvesting for green and environmentally friendly tourism. The Climate Change Budget too has increased by 0.39% compared to the fiscal year 2013/14 allocation, which amounts to 10.73% (approximately NPR 66 billion) of the national budget in this fiscal year 2014/15. Of this amount, 5.66% projects are directly related to climate change (highly relevant) and 5.07% allocated amount is indirectly related to climate change.
The government has also proposed considerable subsidies for various adaptation technologies and allocated NPR 15.1 million for an efficient weather forecasting system. Similarly, the Government has allocated NPR 197.5 million for the Pilot Project for Climate Resilience (PPCR) being tested in Nepal.
“Most of the climate change budget has been derived from foreign aid. However the Government has also proactively allocated funds for the climate change budget which indicates the grave concern the Government shows towards tackling climate change,” said Dhakal.
Clean Energy Nepal is a member organisation of CANSA. CEN is an independent, non profit service oriented, policy, research and implementation organisation focusing on research based education and advocacy campaigns with policy inputs and implementation on issues related to sustainable energy use and environmental conservation. CEN envisages Sustainable Nepal where right to clean environment is ensured for all. More information can be found on their website on http://www.cen.org.np/