What Happens in Nepal doesn’t Stay in Nepal
By Shabbir Mir, The Express Tribuen, 4 April 2013
Over the last few years, Nepal has been seeing more and more extreme temperatures as weather patterns have grown unpredictable. Winters are drier and summer monsoons more delayed. For years, the farmers have lived in harmony with nature in the mountainous villages. And while they may not have necessarily contributed much to climate change, they are certainly feeling its effects now.
Nepal Eager to Join Global Efforts to Fight Deforestation
By Maya Thatchar, CIFOR Blog, 5 April 2013
Though it has shown enthusiastic support for global efforts to slow forest loss and degradation (REDD+), Nepal has yet to tackle some of the biggest drivers at home, from land tenure disputes and poverty to weak governance, a recent study by the Center for International Forestry Research said. And without a dramatic turnaround, the scheme could fail in the tiny, troubled nation, warned Naya Paudel, lead author of The Context of REDD+ in Nepal: Drivers, Agents and Institutions.
Download the report here...
Natural Disasters Killed 420 in One Year
The Kathmandu Post, 8 April 2013
At least 420 people were killed by natural disaster s in the country within the last one year period, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA). Among the natural disaster s, lightning topped the list, claiming 129 lives between April 13, 2012 and April 5, 2013. The others are landslides, floods and other geologic processes. Concerned over deaths from natural disaster s, the government is bracing itself for institutional revamp and building a disaster response mechanism by adopting the new National Disaster Response Framework, said MoHA Joint-secretary Laxmi Prasad Dhakal.
Formula to Hike Energy Tariff Being Worked Out
By Ashok Thapa, The Kathmandu Post, 8 April 2013
m The government has begun work to implement an automatic energy tariff hike system as per which the electricity charge will rise by 5 percent annually. The Electricity Tariff Fixation Commission (ETFC), which has been working to come up with a formula to compute the automatic tariff hike, said it was also planning to introduce rates based on season from the next fiscal year. Though the ETFC Regulation allows it to hike the electricity tariff by 5 percent annually based on a standard formula, it has not been able to do so as it has not developed such a scheme.
Nepal Turns to Renewable Energy
IRIN, 5 April 2013
Nepal’s recently adopted policy of subsidizing renewable energy is the latest of many attempts to electrify long-deprived areas, but much more is needed, say experts. More than half of the country’s households - almost all in urban and semi-urban areas - are connected to the national electricity grid. But 80 percent of the population is rural, and in these areas, less than one-third have electricity. With grid extension to the country’s hilly and mountainous areas prohibitively expensive, officials are looking to off-grid renewable alternatives.
Fiji to Relocate Villages as Sea Level Rises
By Nasik Swami, The Fiji Times Online, 4 April 2013
SEA walls are not an option to stop rising sea levels and villagers threatened by climate change must be relocated, a gathering of religious leaders have been told. Director Political and Treaties Division of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Esala Nayasi told the National Faith Based Environmental Stewardship Summit in Sigatoka that sea walls were temporary facilities. "The government does not have the money to build sea walls in every coastal village in the country," Mr Nayasi said. He said they were in the process of relocating two coastal villages because they were under threat.
Global Solar Photovoltaic Industry Is Likely Now a Net Energy Producer
Science Daily, 8 April 2013
The rapid growth of the solar power industry over the past decade may have exacerbated the global warming situation it was meant to soothe, simply because most of the energy used to manufacture the millions of solar panels came from burning fossil fuels. That irony, according to Stanford University researchers, is coming to an end.
International Carbon Markets Expanding but Still Contentious
By Carey L Biron, Inter Press Service, 10 April 2013
Nascent carbon emissions-trading exchanges in several countries are increasingly looking at options to interlink with one another, which advocates say would offer investors long-term stability, increase revenues for the development of renewable energy and strengthen corporate support for climate policy. Yet critics warn that so-called cap-and-trade systems are inefficient and create incentives for polluting industries to continue with business as usual. They also warn that the new systems in the United States are dependent on mechanisms that adversely impact on poor and indigenous communities in developing countries.
By Dr Jagadish Chandra Baral, Republica, 7 April 2013
Nepal’s NAPA is commended as “among the best” for its inclusive process and comprehensive programs designed for local communities. The document identifies six thematic heads which are further divided into nine combined profiles with expressed objectives. They are sufficient to address “urgent and immediate climate adaptation needs” of the country—the very purpose of NAPA. The overall estimated cost of the conceived projects is US $ 350 million; and most of the projects are slated to begin by 2013. This article will indicate some major shortfalls in launching NAPA programs.
Passing the Buck
By Manjeet Dhakal and Sunil Acharya, Republica, 9 April 2013
The 49 LDCs representing 12 percent of the world’s population are responsible for only four percent of global emissions, but are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. While it is obvious that the LDCs cannot adopt the same economic model of development followed by the rich countries in their course of development, it is a fundamental right of LDCs to strive for a decent and ecologically sustainable livelihood for their communities. LDCs by default are in a position to demand climate justice from developed countries for their survival and get support to pursue a low carbon development model. It would not make any difference even if the LDCs cut their emissions to zero, unless big emitters curb them to under 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 as demanded by LDCs.
Probing the Reasons Behind The Changing Pace of Warming
By Fred Pearce, Yale Environment 360, 8 April 2013
A consensus is emerging among scientists that the rate of global warming has slowed over the last decade. While they are still examining why, many researchers believe this phenomenon is linked to the heat being absorbed by the world’s oceans.
3 Ways to Unlock Climate Finance
By Clifford Polycarp and Shally Venugopal, WRI Insights, 10 April 2013
Ministers and senior officials from developed countries will gather this Thursday in Washington, D.C. to tackle one of the world’s foremost challenges: how to mobilize private sector capital to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in developing countries and help them adapt to climate change’s impacts. The meeting, organized by the U.S. State Department, comes on the heels of another meeting of climate finance experts and researchers in Paris, organized by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
By Cilla Khatry, Republica, 5 April 2013
The traffic congestion is worsening day by day as hundreds of new vehicles are added to the city’s roads everyday, and if this continues, we have to start preparing ourselves to crawl at 5-10kmph during peak hours in the next five years when all the main roads of the city will be choc-a-bloc with vehicles moving at snail’s pace. As per the records of the Transport Department, public transport vehicles registered in Kathmandu up to mid 2012 was 17,219 – 6,529 buses, 6,663 minibuses, 2,518 Tempos, and 1,509 micro vans – out of which 8,745 run in the city. Right now, traffic in the city moves at a snail’s pace only and on gridlock stretches. But road space isn´t increasing at the same pace vehicles are, and very soon Kathmandu’s roads will become inadequate to handle the growing traffic volume. More recently, multiple fingers are pointed at the road expansion campaign that has left heaps of sand, gravel and bricks piled high on the roadsides, forcing vehicles to maneuver their way around it, thus leading to traffic jams every so often.
It is Rocket Science
By Kunda Dixit, Nepali TImes, 5 April 2013
Urban Nepal is pre-occupied with power cuts, even though only 1.5 per cent of the country’s energy need is from electricity. There are protests every time fuel prices are raised, yet only eight per cent of Nepalis use diesel, kerosene or LPG for cooking. Over 80 per cent of Nepal’s population, mostly women, cook on firewood, straw or dried dung. A clean and cheap new chulo could transform the lives of 20 million rural Nepalis, yet it was difficult to get anyone excited about it. That is changing. As one of its last acts, the Baburam Bhattarai government set a target to make all Nepali homes smokeless by 2017. Improved cooking stoves use less than half the firewood compared to open hearth fireplaces, they cook faster, and are nearly smokeless.