According to the Climate Risk Index, Nepal was one of the world’s top five countries most affected by climate change in 2017 (Germanwatch, 2019). As a least developed country that is highly vulnerable to climate change, Nepal focuses most of its climate efforts on adaptation.
Nevertheless, in 2016 Nepal ratified the Paris Agreement and submitted a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that looks into clean energy development, afforestation measures, sustainable transport systems, climate friendly practices in agriculture, waste management and building codes. The NDC does not include an overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target, so we could not quantify Nepal’s emissions reduction contribution, and we could not rate the NDC.
In the past year, Nepal has moved ahead and showed progress towards achieving its NDC sectoral commitments. At the end of 2018, the Prime Minister of Nepal launched the ‘National Action Plan for Electric Mobility’ which supports the implementation of Nepal’s NDC, especially in terms of clean transport, energy diversity and air quality targets.
At the beginning of 2019, a study by the Forest Research and Training Centre in Nepal found that the country’s forest area has nearly doubled, from 26% of land area in 1992 to 45% in 2016. This makes Nepal an exception to the global deforestation trend.
Still, the Climate Action Tracker’s emissions projections for 2030 under current policies increase by about a third compared to our previous country assessment. The Nepalese Ministry of Population and Environment recently published a 2011 GHG inventory and emissions for that year are reported to be much higher than earlier government projections. The new projections result in an increase of emissions by up to 70% above today’s levels, while global emissions should be peaking as soon as possible.
In spite of the expected increase of emissions compared to today throughout 2030, the government is showing progress in reducing emissions, this year particularly in the transport and LULUCF sectors (see Current Policy Projections). If the CAT were to rate Nepal’s projected emissions levels in 2030 under current policies, we would rate Nepal “1.5°C Paris Agreement compatible”, indicating that Nepal’s current climate action pathways is consistent with holding warming well below 2°C, and limiting warming to 1.5°C. Nepal’s current policies do not require other countries to make comparably deeper reductions or greater effort and are in the most stringent part of its Fair Share range.