On August 23, 2017 Padam Bahadur Shrestha filed an application to compel the government of Nepal to enact a new climate change law. When the authorities failed to respond, Shrestha petitioned the Supreme Court of Nepal to issue a writ of mandamus or other appropriate order to enact such a law. According to the petition, the Environmental Protection Act of 1997 was inadequate because it did not address climate change, the Climate Change Policy of 2011 had not been implemented, and as a result, the humans and ecosystems of Nepal had experienced grave climate impacts. Shrestha alleged that the government’s failure to adequately address climate had violated the rights to a dignified life and a healthy environment guaranteed in the Constitution of Nepal, and violated Nepal’s commitments under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.
In a decision issued on December 25, 2018, the Supreme Court ordered the government of Nepal to enact a new climate change law to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and promote low carbon technologies, and to develop scientific and legal instruments to compensate those harmed by pollution and environmental degradation, among other provisions. The Court said that a new law was needed to effectuate Nepal’s commitments under the Paris Agreement and obligations under the Constitution. The Court further reasoned that the Environmental Protection Act of 1997 was inadequate to address needed climate change mitigation and adaptation, and ordered the government to implement existing national climate policy until the new law would be enacted.
Subsequent to the Supreme Court decision, the government of Nepal passed the Environment Protection Act of 2019 and the Forests Act of 2019. Both are linked below.
|12/25/2018||Judgment||Download||Supreme Court Judgment in Nepali|
|12/25/2018||Judgment||Download||Supreme Court Judgment in English (Unofficial Translation)|
|10/18/2019||Not Available||Download||The Environment Protection Act of 2019 (Unofficial English Translation)|
|10/14/2019||Not Available||Download||The Forests Act of 2019 (Unofficial English Translation)|