2 October, 2014

Intended Nationally Determined Contributions: opportunity for Nepal


Sandra Freitas, Fabio Sferra, Manjeet Dhakal, Marie Lindberg and Florent Baarsch

The 2013 Warsaw Conference of the Parties (COP19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) invited all Parties to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) in the context of the 2015 agreement. The COP-19 agreed that these contributions should be communicated well in advance of COP-21 in December 2015, preferably by the first quarter of 2015 by Parties ready to do so.

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are most vulnerable to climate change and are currently already facing adverse climate effects. The LDCs’ negotiation position is one that calls for strong global climate action, and the group is therefore demanding a binding climate treaty that engages all Parties in ambitious mitigation action and ensures international cooperation on adaptation, finance and other means of implementation to provide effective support to the most vulnerable countries.

While international negotiations make progress toward greater clarity regarding the concept of INDCs, several countries are already engaging in domestic preparations. The LDC Group has stated that it is of utmost importance for all Parties to join the agreement and to make an effort to include mitigation elements in their contributions. The group states that while adaptation and means of implementation are important parts of the 2015 Agreement and should have the same level of political priority, they should be treated separately from mitigation.

Nepal, current Chair of the LDC Group at the UNFCCC climate change negotiations to end of 2014, takes on a forerunner role and has the responsibility to voice concerns of countries in the Group. Nepal can present itself as a model for all other LDCs by outlining what a contribution can mean for the LDCs in the context of the 2015 agreement. Such contributions should not add an extra burden to countries less capable to cope with climate change due to their development status, who already face huge challenges to deal with other problems, such as poverty eradication. Instead, INDCs should provide strong and moral obligations for more capable countries to act.