Everest ‘climbing for climate justice’ expedition aims to break world records
KATHMANDU (NEPAL) May 8, 2013 – A Nepalese expedition ‘Climbing for Climate Justice’ led by four-time world record climber Pemba Dorje Sherpa will ascend Mount Everest (Nepal) from May 10, 2013.
Expedition members  plan to reach the world’s highest mountain peak (8,848 m) on May 26 in an attempt to establish several world records.
The expedition aims to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change and the need for climate justice.
It is organized by Save the Himalayas Campaign and Khangri Media in collaboration with Friends of the Earth Nepal / Pro Public. Friends of the Earth International welcomed the expedition in a letter to the climbers.
The climbers include an 82-year old man trying to break his own record as the oldest person to climb Everest and an armless man trying to establish a Guinness world record for scaling Everest without arms.
“Climate change endangers the glaciers, glacial lakes in the Himalayan mountain range and life and property of the thousands of people residing below the lakes,” said Prakash Mani Sharma, executive director of Friends of the Earth Nepal / Pro Public.
“This expedition aims to draw attention to the disastrous impacts that climate change is having on our precious ecosystems as well as local communities,” he added.
Nepal is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and already experiencing severe problems. The glaciers and glacial lakes in the Himalayan mountain range provide water to approximately ten percent of the world’s population.
Glaciers are melting at an increasing rate, and as a result glacial lakes are growing. The problems associated with this are firstly that the risk of glacial lake flooding is significantly increased. There have already been a number of instances of this happening in Nepal and the results can be disastrous for communities that live in the area or downstream.
“The Himalayas nurture bountiful, mighty, revered rivers such as the Ganga, Indus, Mekong, Yangtze, Irrawaddy, and many others. These rivers feed the lives and livelihoods of over 1.5 billion people including in India, Nepal, Tibet, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and Afghanistan” said Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International climate justice and energy co-coordinator.
“Climate change disproportionately affects the most vulnerable and marginalised people in Nepal and around the world; the people who are least responsible for the climate crisis,” said Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Friends of the Earth International climate justice and energy co-coordinator.
“The leaders of the developed countries that caused the crisis are not even trying to deliver climate justice. To avoid climate catastrophe we must transform the unjust and unsustainable economic system at the heart of the problem,” she added.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
IN KATHMANDU, NEPAL (Expedition inquiries and expedition materials requests)
Prakash Mani Sharma, executive director of Friends of the Earth Nepal / Pro Public: Tel: + 977 1 98 51 07 22 26 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Babu Ram Paudel, Program Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Nepal / Pro Public: Tel: +977 1 98 41 62 22 87 or email email@example.com
IN LONDON (General climate justice inquiries)
Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Friends of the Earth International climate justice and energy co-coordinator: +44 7912 406510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
 The ‘Climbing for Climate Justice’ Expedition’ members are:
1. Speed Climber Pemba Dorje Sherpa, the expedition team leader, holds the world record for climbing Mount Everest in the fastest time. He has set four World Records climbing Mt. Everest.
2. Sudarshan Gautam, a Nepal-born Canadian resident who has no arms. If he reaches the summit of Mount Everest, he will become the first person with no arms or prosthetic limbs to achieve this feat. His aim is to establish a Guinness world record for scaling Everest without arms. He wants to raise awareness of the potential threat of serious injury and disability posed by glacial lakes outburst floods (GLOF).
3. Phurba Tenzin Sherpa is the climb leader for this expedition and holds the world record as the youngest climber to summit Everest 8 times. He will be filming the expedition.
4. Shiva Bahadur Sapkota plans to climb Mount Everest backwards. He is climbing backwards to warn developed countries’ leaders that development in countries like Nepal is going backward because developed countries are not taking the urgent steps needed to justly address the climate crisis.
5. Kapur Shrestha is climbing Mount Everest on all fours in a polar bear suit all the way to the Summit. He wants to draw attention to the fact that climate change is endangering many animal species including snow leopards found in the Himalayas and polar bears (found in the Arctic region).
6. Min Bahadur Sherchan, 82, holds the record as the oldest person to climb Mount Everest, since reaching the summit at the age of 77. He aims to break his own record.
7. Suman Shrestha, 22, is the youngest member of the Climbing for Climate Justice Team. He believes we need to save World Heritage sites like Mount Everest for future generations and that youth around the world should join the struggle for climate justice. He is General Manager of Khangri Media.