Campaign for Climate Justice Nepal (CCJN) in collaboration with Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) has organised a half-day Interaction Programme on "Reclaim Power : Energy and Climate Justice” on 26 October 2016 in Kathmandu. The programme was organised as the part global campaign on Reclaim Power 2016 which aims to mobilise people against dirty energy and the urgency of transforming energy systems.
Ms Mana Dahal, President, Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN) highlighted the fact that a huge amount of energy that has been imported into Nepal needs to be changed during her welcome speech.
Dr Sarba Raj Khadka, a climate justice campaigner, presented a brief background of the Reclaim Power campaign, explaining that since 2013, during the month of October, globally, most of the organisations and movements working on energy issues carried out activities and actions with the banner of Reclaim Power. He further said that the campaign helps to raise awareness on dirty energy and deepen understanding on sustainable and renewable sources of energy. He highlighted that the main aim of the campaign is to pressurise at all entities, including International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and respective governments to reduce or end investment in dirty energy (fossil fuels) sources and increase investments in alternative and renewable sources of energy.
Likewise, Mr Gauri Pradhan, International Coordinator of LDC Watch and Mr Kalpa Mohan Soti, Senior Engineer, Ministry of Energy also put forwarded their views on urgent actions needed to address poor countries and the urgency to initiate clean energy movement for sustainable development respectively. Mr Sher Singh Bhat, Energy Specialist presented his paper on Energy Approach, Modern Energy and its impact where he gave a comprehensive picture of the current levels of energy
Mr Sher Singh Bhat, Energy Specialist presented his paper on Energy Approach, Modern Energy and its impact where he gave a comprehensive picture of the current levels of energy use in the world as well as in Nepal. He mainly focused on the need to move away from traditional and dirty energy sources that are emitting huge amounts of Green House Gases (GHGs). His clear message was that all responsible entities working in the energy sector should indeed focus on an alternative as well as renewable sources of energy.
Mr Ram Prasad Dhital, Executive Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, Nepal, who was one of the discussants, highlighted the weaknesses of the government as well as the civil society, stating that the different government entities that are working in the energy sector are fragmented and the communication between these entities are weak, hence the government is not able to work in an integrated manner. He stated that the civil society often works around the government system instead of working with the government to improve the existing system.
Dr Netra Timsina, Regional Coordinator of South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) made his comments on the presented paper stating that contradictions that are existed regarding the sources of energy, especially in poor countries like Nepal, development is often seen as a priority resulting in more energy usage. He emphasised that we should all be clear on this contradiction and develop a common approach and position going forward.
During the open forum discussion, the participants suggested that Nepal should come out from the dependency on energy on foreign nations. We should focus on community-led solutions to energy and let the community take over the ownership of energy sources. We also need to democratise energy and adopt the policy of decentralisation, also promoting alternative sources of energy at the local level. There should be a loud voice on the use of clean energy sources from all entities working in the energy sector.
The programme was concluded with the decision of preparing a memorandum which will be handed over to the concerned authority of the Government of Nepal highlighting the evils of traditional energy sources for human life and expressing the need for the government to focus its policies on promoting clean, renewable and sustainable forms of energy going into the future.
The programme was chaired by Dr Keshab Khadka, Chairperson of National Tax and Fiscal Justice Alliance Nepal, who has also been working for All Nepal Peasants’ Federation (ANPFa). Mr Gyan Bahadur Adhikari, Executive Director of RRN, facilitated the Programme.