We have set an ambitious target to get 40 million girls back into school, and with higher learning levels in the coming five years. We backed that up at the London Global Education Summit in July, where international partners raised $4 billion to support education globally, including in Nepal.
Two weeks before I arrived, Nepal’s development partners, led by the British Embassy Kathmandu and the World Bank, signed a landmark agreement to support Nepal with $7.4 billion of investment to ensure a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery from Covid-19. This finance will accelerate Nepal’s ability to cut carbon emissions, whilst supporting job creation, renewables, and growth in the green economy.
Next month, the UK is hosting COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, which will bring together leaders from around the world to agree on action to tackle the urgent threat of global climate change. The science is clear and unequivocal: human influence is warming our atmosphere, our lands and our oceans. No one is immune to the devastating effects of climate change, but it’s hitting the poorest and most vulnerable hardest.
Women in climate hot spots face challenges adapting, Marty Logan
When Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba arrives at the COP26 conference, I’m sure he’ll make clear Nepal’s potential, ambition, and need for climate finance. But amidst the talk of billions of green investment and carbon dioxide emission cuts, on the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October we must not forget that the poorest and most vulnerable girls and women already suffer the worst impact of climate change and are least able to adapt.
In the countdown to the annual Dasain festivities that were gathering pace as I departed, I was told how unusual it was for the rains to still be falling. Freak occurrence, or just another example of climate change affecting weather patterns?
What I do know is there is one sure way to reduce risks and safeguard the future: educating girls. Through education, girls and women are not only empowered to improve their own lives, but they can also drive change in their communities and help families and neighbours adapt to climate impacts and build more inclusive societies.
Helen Grant was appointed in January 2021 as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Girls’ Education.