Nepal MPs pledge to strengthen public climate finance processes
On July 11, Members of Parliament in Nepal committed to institutionalizing a mechanism to improve oversight of the allocation and delivery of climate finance in Nepal.
The commitment followed UNDP’s presentation of a draft climate budget oversight toolkit to Parliamentarians at an event in Kathmandu. The draft toolkit aims to assist parliamentarians’ to engage in the allocation, use and targeting of climate finance to ensure it reaches the most vulnerable communities. It also identifies entry points to enhance current oversight and provides specific steps with suggested questions that can be asked at various stages of the budget cycle by the committee members.
The Environment Protection Committee and Finance Committee of the Legislative Parliament hosted the event, which also focused on sensitizing the members on the impacts of climate change on development results, and the role of climate finance in addressing those challenges. UNDP’s Parliamentary Support Project and Governance of Climate Change Finance Programme provided support for the event.
At the event the Honorable Prakash Jwala, the chair of the Finance Committee, focused on parliament’s unique role in climate action and its link to the Sustainable Development Goals. Mr. Jwala noted that the SDGs acknowledge the “essential role of national parliaments through their enactment of legislation and adoption of budgets and their role in ensuring accountability for the effective implementation of the SDGs commitments”.
Emphasizing the role of MPs in achieving the SDGs, Deputy Country Director of UNDP Nepal, Sophie Kemkhadze, highlighted the need to scrutinize climate related budget allocations as they link with several Sustainable Development Goals, in addition to SDG.
The meeting also reviewed the impacts of climate change in Nepal. Drawing upon the Government’s National Climate Change Impact Survey, Climate Change Expert Madhukar Upadhya shared the latest findings on the impact of climate change over the last 25 years. He also explained various initiatives taken by the government to address the issue with the support of UNDP, such as the application of the climate change budget code which helps to track climate related allocations and expenditures.
The link between these effects and the need for improved oversight of climate finance was made clear. Chair of the Environment Committee, Geeta Rana, said ‘’climate change has become a national concern, which needs to be tackled by incorporating climate finance clearly in the national budget, where MPs have a big role for oversight’’.
The meeting concluded with commitments to create a staged workplan for the MPs to increase engagement and improve oversight of climate related budget formulation. The toolkit, which will be revised taking into account their feedback will be the tool applied to facilitate that process.