Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA) yesterday wrote a letter to all local levels instructing to implement programs related to climate change issues as per the existing laws.
However, stakeholders and environmentalists are skeptical that government’s step will bring any ideal outcomes as the government is yet to formulate the Climate Change Act. They believe that MoFAGA’s letter will only create more confusion at the local level.
On 25 December 2018, the Supreme Court issued a full text of its order asking the government to address the issues of climate change in the country and to formulate a separate act on climate change.
Regardless of the court’s order, the government has not shown interest in formulating a separate act on climate change as of yet.
After the government’s inaction on the SC’s order, advocate Padam Bahadur Shrestha, who had earlier filed a writ against the government and 15 other government bodies, filed a complaint at the SC’s Judgment Execution Directorate.
Following the complaint, MoFAGA yesterday wrote to all the local levels instructing them to implement the programmes on climate change issues as per the existing laws.
“The government’s recent move is nothing but the fear of facing contempt of court charge. If the government was really serious about this issue, it should have come up with concrete plans and policies to address the problem,” Shrestha said.
Manjeet Dhakal, a climate change expert, said the government should understand that addressing the issues of climate change is crucial for sustainable development and economic prosperity.
“Tragically, we don’t have any environmental change related laws in our county till date. A deliberately drafted environmental change act can be a significant instrument for monetary advancement, yet the administration has unmistakably neglected to understand this.”
As per Dhakal, in financial terms, Nepal imports fossil fuels that are 200 percent more than the total amount it exports. Hence, encouraging electricity- run industries or vehicles will not only reduce the import of fossil fuels, it will also create more job opportunities in the country and lead to obvious reduction in carbon emission which is considered one of the major causes of climate change.