In the election manifestos, political parties had made commitments to develop and promote clean energy, properly manage natural resources and forest, conserve water resources, control pollution and manage solid waste. A joint manifesto of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) promised to generate 15,000 MW electricity generation from hydro, solar and other renewable energy sources and conservation of Himalayan glaciers. Nepali Congress, in its manifesto, included plans to check air pollution in Kathmandu, reduce the use of fossils fuels and enhance renewable energy production. Similarly, other political parties promised to manage natural resources and forest and develop to promote clean energy.
This study shows that political parties have failed to live up to their commitments to protect and conserve the environment. The environment is in low priority in the development agenda of political parties. Meaningful engagement between political parties and civil society organizations would help change the present perception of the environment as anti-development agenda.
The Environment Protection bill has recently been tabled in the parliament. This bill is highly crucial as it determines Nepal’s long term commitments to sustainable development. All political parties must urgently start a discussion within and among them on the bill and make sure the bill is well aligned with the commitments they have expressed in their election manifestos.