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BILLI BIERLING
PEAKING ATTENTION: A Buddha figure on the summit of Chomolungma earlier this year. Mountaineers say climate change has made climbing the world's highest mountain more treacherous.
The cabinet meeting below Mt Everest on Friday will have drawn international attention to the impacts of climate change in the Himalaya ahead of next week's Copenhagen Summit.

But the government's stated commitment to reduce Nepal's carbon emissions, though laudable, will not be possible without strong tax incentives and a concrete strategy to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This is needed not just to address climate change, but to rescue our economy.

The country needs a crash program for electricity generation to meet rising domestic demand, to power industries and transportation, to reduce petroleum imports and to export energy so our huge trade deficit with India is narrowed. If that helps to save the planet, it will be a bonus.

Prime Minister Madhav Nepal is preparing to announce a major new commitment to switch to renewable energy in Copenhagen in the hope that rich countries will more generously support Nepal's adaptation and mitigation efforts. He will also announce the creation of the Api-Nampa and Gaurishankar conservation areas.

In the run-up to Copenhagen, WWF's Climate for Action program has been on an expedition through Europe with Everest summiteeers Apa Sherpa and Dawa Steven Sherpa to raise awareness about climate change. In Gland this week, the two received WWF's 'Leaders for a Living Planet' award. The two will also take part in a high-profile 'Summit of the Summiteers' rally in Copenhagen on 11 December, International Mountain Day.

READ ALSO:
Climate ironies
, EAST WEST with Kunda Dixit, 04 DEC 2009
Defrosted - FROM ISSUE #479 (04 DEC 2009 - 10 DEC 2009)
Himalayan tsunami - FROM ISSUE #479 (04 DEC 2009 - 10 DEC 2009)



LATEST ISSUE
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(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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