Any individual extreme weather event is difficult to directly attribute to the climate crisis. But the intensity and unpredictability of this year’s monsoon has been unprecedented. Manang and Mustang were hit by flash floods at the same time as Melamchi – even before the monsoon officially started. And even after the rainy season was formally over last week, parts of the country were hit by record-breaking rainfall.
For the past decade, my career has taken me to numerous international climate summits where we have discussed strong national and international advocacy to address the impact of the climate crisis – especially on developing countries like Nepal.
At international climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), I have observed climate-vulnerable countries make urgent pleas for ambitious action in tackling the climate crisis. Small, low-lying island states like the Vanuatu, Tuvalu and the Maldives have tried to show the urgency of it all – rising ocean levels will soon submerge their countries.
The Philippines and Bangladesh continue to raise concern about the increasing intensity and frequency of typhoons and cyclones. Fragile mountain regions of the world are trying to get their concerns on the agenda.
Next week, heads of state from around the world will start arriving in Glasgow for the 26th annual climate summit of the UNFCCC (called COP26). Recent impacts of extreme weather events around the world (wildfires in Siberia and the western US, heat waves in Canada, floods in Europe, landslides and floods in Japan, India, China) are likely to focus everyone’s mind on the climate emergency, and the message that we are all in this together.