Paralleling Adaptation with Mitigation in the Developing World

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Kathmandu, october 19,2016 : There’s something developing nations should look at than mere adapting to changes.

The APAN conference which in going on in Colombo, Sri Lanka has brought together a number of stakeholders discussing about the possible ways vulnerable countries can adapt to changing conditions. What the stakeholders may overlook amidst all this discussions coming up with better adaptation strategies is how developing nations can also be key participants in reducing atmospheric carbon concentration.

Niraj Shrestha, a participant from Nepal currently working at the Center for Rural Technology, stressed the importance of developing nations acting on emission reduction mechanisms, “Adaptation will always be our key strategy to cope with climatic changes as we are non-significant carbon emitters. But the carbon trade funds we can generate by incorporating CDM mechanisms mainstreamed by the Kyoto Protocol in development works like use of biogas, improved water mills and solar power, can in turn be used in financing or subsidizing our adaptation activities.”

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the Flexible Mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol that helps to financially aid emission reduction projects that generate Certified Emission Reduction (CER) units that can be traded in carbon trading schemes. This can certainly be useful for developing countries like Nepal which will not be able to afford the costs involved with climate change adaptation, which are projected to rise significantly in coming years with increasing climatic variabilities.

However, the remuneration that developing countries receive for the generated CER units has dropped significantly. According to Shrestha, tariff for a ton of CO2 has today dropped to less than 5 USD in the carbon trade market compared to what used to be more than 17 USD at the time when biogas was registered in the CDM. “This is really unfortunate. Higher carbon tariffs would certainly motivate developing countries like ours to do their part in mitigating global emissions as well.”, Shrestha added.

With extreme climatic events being more frequent due to human induced climate change, the need of global action to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions is certainly the most important pursuit of today’s global leaders. Inclusion of developing nations in mitigation strategies rather than just coming up with ways to help them adapt to changes will be important in achieving the living below 2 degrees goal aimed in the Paris Agreement.

BY -Sanam Parajuli
Negotiator Tracker for Climate Tracker (