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COP26 President meets with ICIMOD: #HKH2Glasgow

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Arun Bhakta Shrestha from ICIMOD briefs COP26 president Alok Sharma about climate change impacts on mountains and communities.
Arun Bhakta Shrestha and COP26 president Alok Sharma
Arun Bhakta Shrestha from ICIMOD briefs COP26 president Alok Sharma about climate change impacts on mountains and communities.

Alok Sharma, President of COP26, visited Nepal to learn about climate action in Nepal and the HKH region. We had the privilege to brief him on the role that regional cooperation can play to address transboundary climate risks and deliver climate action at scale and with speed. We are encouraged by his assurance that mountain voices will be heard in the climate negotiations later this year. Our colleague Arun Bhakta Shrestha accompanied to Jomsom to show the impacts of climate change on the mountains and the communities that rely on them. And Pema Gyamtsho, our Director General, had the opportunity to discuss how the Hindu Kush Himalaya must be an important part of the climate dialogue.

Our actions in this decade will determine our collective ability to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees, align financial flows with low-carbon and climate resilient development, and support mountain communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. It is therefore critical that communities from the HKH shape and help deliver ambitious climate action at COP26.

To help raise mountain voices, we are engaged with the HKH governments on an HKH Call to Action, part of which includes COP26-focused work on an “HKH2Glasgow” campaign to (a) promote global recognition of the HKH as a climate hotspot and its contribution to conservation and sustainable development; (b) strengthen regional cooperation to address transboundary climate risk and deliver climate action at scale and with speed; and (c) substantially increase investments in HKH mountain-specific climate priorities over the next decade.

The effort to promote global recognition of the HKH as a climate hotspot feeds into the UN FCCC’s Race to Resilience and Race to Zero campaign aimed at catalysing a step-change in global ambition to build the resilience of four billion people by 2030. Given that the HKH region provides water and other ecosystem goods and services to 1.9 billion people living in the mountains and in the river basins downstream, ensuring resilience of people across the HKH by 2030 would achieve a full half of the UNFCCC’s goal.

As part of our HKH2Glasgow work, we will continue to generate evidence to support ambitious climate action in our region. This includes an analysis of the extent to which Nationally Determined Contributions and post-pandemic recovery plans promote climate action in the mountains.

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