3 February 2022, Kathmandu/New Delhi : Itahari, located in eastern Nepal, becomes the second city in South Asia to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty today. Situated in the fertile plains of eastern Nepal, Itahari is a growing business hub and major transportation junction for the region.
Itahari’s endorsement of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty comes less than four months after that of Dhulikhel, Nepal, showing the country’s commitment towards eliminating the use of fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable energy. They join a growing number of cities across the globe, such as Los Angeles, Barcelona and Sydney, who have endorsed this treaty in an effort to jumpstart global cooperation to address fossil fuel production that is driving the climate crisis.
Dwarik Lal Chaudhari, Mayor of Itahari Sub-Metropolitan City, announced: “Itahari Sub-Metropolitan City endorses the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative. Even though the contribution of GHG emissions from Itahari is low compared to big and developed cities, it is committed towards net zero GHG emissions by formulating policies and programs to increase access to renewable energy which supports communities to create and secure healthy livelihoods. The city’s environment-friendly initiatives and push for carbon neutrality will help to achieve the 1.5˚C target by contributing towards Nepal’s mitigation targets through NDC implementation. Itahari is glad to be a part of this initiative.”
Cities in South Asia are already undergoing rapid urbanisation that puts immense pressure on basic infrastructures and social services. Climate change has compounded the stress on these vital urban infrastructures, and exacerbated climate risks.
When a rapidly growing city such as Itahari prioritises such endorsements, this can create a ripple effect for other cities to follow suit. Itahari Municipality is already a role model for cities in the Global South through various green efforts towards mitigating climate change impacts, and creating a sustainable, healthy and clean environment. It has made significant strides through programs such as sustainable waste management, household biogas plants, waste-to-energy plants, construction of solar street lamps, promoting e-rickshaws, and efforts towards protecting their ponds and water resources, and helped make climate-friendly policies result-oriented. It’s future plans and programs towards a carbon-neutral Itahari include expansion of ongoing green activities, increasing forest cover, protecting river corridors and flood plains, providing cycle tracks, promoting e-vehicles, and awareness of the use of renewable energy among local people.
Sanjay Vashist, Director of Climate Action Network South Asia, said: “We are delighted to announce that Itahari is the second Nepalese city, and the second in South Asia as well, to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty after Dhulikhel. This reiterates the commitment of this sub-metropolitan city in playing a part to mitigate climate change, which is undeniably the biggest crisis facing the world today. It is clear that we need to go beyond rhetoric and into climate action now in order to eliminate fossil fuels and ensure a just and equitable transition to clean energy and green jobs.”
Lalmani Wagle, Program Coordinator, Clean Energy Nepal, noted: “It is a pleasant experience to know that Itahari is the second city of Nepal to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty campaign. Itahari has already been recognized as the green city of Nepal since its establishment, and now is part of the global solution by committing to clean energy-centric initiatives. I believe with such initiatives, Itahari can be the leader of local and global environmental solutions, and request all stakeholders to join Itahari’s initiative and support it to achieve what it commits.”
Harjeet Singh, Global Director on Engagement and Partnerships, Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, said: “We congratulate Itahari on becoming the second city in South Asia, and among the few cities in the Global South, to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. With the Global North being responsible for 92% of excess emissions, wealthy countries need to lead the way by sharing the benefits and burdens of transition with poorer nations, workers, and fossil-fuel-dependent communities. If the world is to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, climate action must be based on countries’ fair share of expected climate action, their historical contribution to climate change and their capacity to act in order to curb environmental consequences and prevent social and economic disruption.”
The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is critically needed as a complement to the Paris Agreement to hold governments and the industry accountable for emissions from the production of fossil fuels. As it stands, national governments plan to expand fossil fuels at levels that would result in 110 percent more emissions than what is in keeping with the limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.
The Treaty has also gained endorsements from more than 2,000 scientists and thousands of organizations and individuals globally including David Suzuki, Third World Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Friends of the Earth International, Health Care Without Harm, ActionAid and more.
For more information, contact:
Nakul Sharma, Program Coordinator, Climate Action Network South Asia : firstname.lastname@example.org – Tel: +91-97166 47408
Lalmani Wagle, Program Coordinator, Clean Energy Nepal : email@example.com – Tel: +977-98416 51824