Nepal submitted its updated NDC in December 2020, where it presented ambitious sectoral policy and emissions reduction targets, including reducing its 2030 emissions from the transport and cooking sectors by 28% and 23% respectively compared to BAU. By 2030, Nepal will also unconditionally expand clean energy from 1.4 GW to 5 GW and add an additional 10 GW to this capacity, conditional upon international support.
A conservative estimate of these measures (where transport, waste and residential sector measures are considered for the higher range, and only energy sector measures are considered for the lower range) show that GHG emissions would decrease by 1.9-5.6 MtCO₂e/yr reaching a level of around 55-70% above 2011 (or 69-76 MtCO₂e/yr) by 2030, excluding LULUCF emissions. Given that all listed measures were not quantifiable, Nepal’s overall emissions reductions target is likely to be higher than this estimate.
The analysis of cost-efficient pathways show that the country would need to reduce its emissions by 23-43% below 2011 levels or reach a level of 25-34 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030, to be on a 1.5°C compatible domestic emissions pathway.
Nepal’s fair share as assessed by the Climate Action Tracker lies well above this domestic emissions pathway, indicating that the country should receive international support, including finance, technology transfer and capacity building, to completely close the emissions gap between its fair share and the domestic pathway.
This emissions accounting does not consider LULUCF emissions sink which is substantial for Nepal. The country maintains a little over 40% of their land as forests which was estimated to compensate for 30% of the country’s emissions in 2011., Additionally, by 2030, Nepal aims to increase and maintain up to 45% of its total area under forest cover.
In its 2020 NDC Nepal states its intention to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Nepal will finalize its Long-Term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy in 2021.
1.5°C emissions pathways assessed here indicate that by 2050 the country would need to reduce its emissions by 51-62% below 2011 levels, excluding LULUCF. Nepal will then need to balance its remaining GHG emissions to a level of around 18-39 MtCO₂e/yr. Given the current level of land sinks that Nepal benefits from, the country is well positioned to balance its remaining emissions by mid-century.,