Nepal MPs pledge to strengthen public climate finance processes

Jul 11, 2017

Parliamentarians in Nepal have pledged to closely monitor the use of climate finance and help improve the national system to successfully access global funds available to the vulnerable communities for addressing climate change impacts.

During an interaction jointly organized by the Environment Protection Committee and the Finance Committee of the Legislative Parliament with support from UNDP’s Parliament Support Project and the regional programme on Governance of Climate Change Finance to Benefit the Poor and Vulnerable in South Asia, MPs emphasized to institutionalize a country-led oversight mechanism vis-a-vis the allocation and delivery of climate finance in Nepal.

Welcoming the gathering, Prakash Jwala, the chair of the Finance Committee focused on the need to advise the government on using climate information before allocating climate budget, and follow through the budget cycle--planning, implementation and monitoring.

 Jwala also mentioned that the SDGs acknowledges 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 SDGs, Deputy Country Director of UNDP Nepal Sophie Kemkhadze highlighted the need to scrutinize the amount of budget allocated for addressing climate change issues as it is linked with several other goals.

Expert Madhukar Upadhya shared the latest findings on the impact of climate change in the last 25 years drawing upon a report – National Climate Change Impact Survey 2016 -- published by the Government of Nepal. He also explained various initiatives taken by the government to address the issue.

Parliament Affairs Expert Kevin Deveaux presented the toolkit for MPs to carry out budget oversight and budget formulation processes. The toolkit identified entry points to enhance current oversight frameworks in place for climate finance and to provide specific steps with key suggested questions that need to be asked at various stages of the budget cycle  by the committee members.

MP Sher Bahadur Tamang said ‘’climate change issues are related to almost all other parliamentary committees and hence the existing loose forum on climate change within the parliament should take the leadership in bringing this into discussion at other parliamentary committees as well’’.

MP Purusottam Paudel said ‘’we must initiate the process to deliberate on the budget with the respective ministries before it gets tabled at the parliament.”

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 initiatives taken by the government with support from the regional project under the leadership of the Ministry of Finance, which have led to a number of results such as reporting on climate expenditure using climate budget code, as well as the development of a Climate Change Financing Framework as part of  strengthening the existing PFM systems to better integrate climate change in the planning and budgeting systems and processes, were also discussed.