Interview: China's role in climate change action crucial, says Nepal's mountain development expert

2021-04-22 11:35:43 GMT2021-04-22 19:35:43(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

KATHMANDU, April 22 (Xinhua) -- China's role in the fight against global warming and climate change is crucial, said Pema Gyamtsho, director general of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on Wednesday.

China is making commendable progress in meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate change, he said in an interview with Xinhua. China has made substantial investments in fulfilling its commitments to reducing carbon emissions, he noted.

"China's role in the fight against global warming and climate change is crucial to the world as a whole and critical to the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, which it shares with seven other member countries," he said.

The HKH region refers to an area of mountains in the eight countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. The Kathmandu-based ICIMOD works for the resilient and sustainable mountain development.

According to Gyamtsho, the former Bhutanese minister of agriculture, the HKH region has a unique value as a global asset with a rich repository of cultural and biological diversity.

Speaking of the ongoing virtual U.S.-hosted Leaders Summit on Climate, he said, "The challenges posed by climate change cannot be solved if the world's leading economies do not take commensurate responsibilities," he said.

Gyamtsho said he hopes that developed countries will, in a true spirit of cooperation and partnership, support developing countries to meet their obligations under the Paris Agreement and in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Mitigation measures like reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from industries, transport and agriculture require substantial resources and technology transfer, he said.

Adaptation measures to cope with unpredictable weather patterns such as prolonged periods of drought, unseasonal rainfall, and flash floods demand a large amount of resources that developing countries can hardly afford, he noted.

"We hope that the summit will help galvanize both resource allocation and technology transfer including capacity building from the developed countries to the developing countries," he said.

Gyamtsho expressed hope that Nepal and other countries in the HKH region, will receive adequate support financially and technically in building the resilience needed to withstand the negative ecological and socio-economic impacts of climate change.

He said, "I expect the summit to lead (countries) towards a commitment to supporting this regional engagement, financially and technically, and to protecting this region, which is a critical global asset."

"I hope that the summit will reinforce the need for greater regional cooperation to address the looming crisis from climate change on the water towers of Asia that threatens the survival and livelihoods of over a third of the world's population and endangers many critical habitats and iconic species of flora and fauna," he said. Enditem