Minister Pun draws world attention toward climate impacts on mountains

Kathmandu, Apr. 19: Finance Minister Barsaman Pun has addressed the ministerial level dialogue of the V-20 Group of countries that are in danger due to the effects of climate change.

Pun, who reached the US to participate in the spring joint meeting of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, addressed the 12th ministerial meeting of the V-20 held in Washington, DC Wednesday. 

The V-20 is a body that raises voice in the world community for reducing the risk of climate change and increasing financial support in the transitional situation caused by it in the global economy.

Addressing the meeting, Pun said that the world community should be aware and serious about the problems faced by developing countries, including Nepal, which are at high risk of climate change.

According to press statement of Finance Minister Pun’s secretariat, he pointed out the need for collective commitment at the global level to avoid the risk of climate change. 

He said that due to the effects of climate change, especially the poor and marginalised people are being persecuted in Nepal. 

Addressing the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP-28) held last year in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ recalled that even though Nepal’s role was zero, it drew the attention of the world community to the issue of high risk from the effects of climate change.

“At the COP-28 meeting, our Prime Minister clearly said that Nepal has a very small role in climate change,” Pun said, “I want to present the message of our Prime Minister here that developed countries need to extend urgent financial and technical support to the underdeveloped countries due to the disproportionate risk of climate change.” 

Presenting the position of compensation due to the impact of climate change, he said that Nepal would strongly advocate for climate justice in the international arena.

He drew the attention of the world community to the rapid melting of snow in the Himalayas of Nepal due to climate change, the decrease in water flow in glaciers, the risk of explosion of snow lakes, and the increase in disasters such as floods, landslides and drought owing to problems such as lack of rain and excessive rain.

Minister Pun said that due to the natural disasters caused by climate change, not only the sustainable development efforts of the front line of development, but also human health and livelihood were in danger.

Minister Pun emphasised that countries with developed economies should provide financial assistance for climate adaptation programmes to third world countries like Nepal, which are at high risk despite having a minor role in climate change.

He said that underdeveloped and Himalayan countries like Nepal should have the main rights in facilities such as compensation fund, biodiversity fund and adaptation fund established for damages caused by climate change.

Minister Pun reminded that developed countries should be honest in their commitments to save the world from the effects of climate change.

He drew the attention of the member states that Nepal’s internal resources are insufficient to deal with the effects of climate change and the resulting natural disasters.

“I would like to draw the attention of the world community to the need for global commitment and cooperation to deal with the adverse effects of climate change,” Minister Pun said, “They are looking for special grants and concessional access through the Climate Fund for developing countries like Nepal.” 

About 80 ministers of the V-20 member states, high-ranking government officials, World Bank Group President Ajay Banga, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva were present in the programme.

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