Dhaka, Mar 29 (UNB) - Bangladesh has said the international community must support the vulnerable developing countries to climate change with financial resources and appropriate technologies in support of their adaptation efforts.
“The big emitters must go for rapid mitigation of GHGs, and the pledges to mobilize US$ 100 billion annually by 2020 and an ambitious replenishment for the Green Climate Fund in 2019 must be materialized,” said State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Friday in New York.
He made the call at the high-level meeting on "Protection of the Global Climate for Present and Future Generations of Humankind in the Context of the Economic, Social and Environmental Dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Trusteeship Council, at UNHQs.
Shahriar said Bangladesh is of the firm view that climate change and sustainable development are interlinked and addressing climate change should be at the heart of the international development discourse.
“We must redouble our efforts for sustainable development. Simultaneously, the decisions of the Cop 24, namely Paris Rulebook, must be adhered to by all the stakeholders,” he said.
Bangladesh is one of the 10 most climate vulnerable countries in the world and the impacts of climate change will put severe stress on Bangladesh's limited land.
The State Minister said they look forward to the September Climate Summit to having more focused actions particularly on climate finance and climate justice which are essential for meeting the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.
He mentioned the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is contingent upon their success in halting global climate change and reduce disaster risks.
“It is high time that we renew our efforts to implement the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework to their true letter and spirit,” said the State Minister.
Shahriar said rapid meltdown of the glaciers will dry up our rivers which are basically the catchments of the Himalayan glaciers. “This will impact the fertility of our land leading to desertification.”
He said climate change and sea level rise induced salinity and other disasters are harming our rice and other crop production significantly.
Just 1-degree centigrade increase of global temperature and further sea level rise will result into inundation of a large area of Bangladesh and thus displacement of 40 million people by the end of this century, he said adding that 2 percent of GDP is regularly lost due to natural calamities and environmental degradation.
Hence, the State Minister said, climate change poses an existential threat to over 160 million people in Bangladesh, although it had hardly contributed to the deterioration of the environment.
“Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated her Government’s commitment to the Paris Agreement at different international fora with the utterance that, Bangladesh will never exceed the average per capita emission of the developing world,” he said.
Tackling climate change is directly linked with sustainable development and resilience building.
In line with this perspective, he said, Bangladesh is carrying forward its efforts for sustainable development with specific plans for ‘Carbon budgeting’, ‘de-carbonization of manufacturing pathways’ and low-carbon industrialization.
“Considering multidimensional vulnerabilities posed by climate change and disasters, our Government has recently adopted Delta Plan 2100, which will provide Bangladesh with the sustainable development pathway for the next 100 years.”
The State Minister said Bangladesh is committed to implement its Nationally Determined Contributions in the framework of the Paris Agreement.
“We have mainstreamed climate actions and disaster management in our national planning and sustainable development strategy. Over 1 percent of our GDP is being used to combat climate change,” he said.
The State Minister said Bangladesh is at a critical juncture of its development when it is on the path of graduation from the LDC category.
“In addition to all the challenges we are facing because of climate change, we have been hosting 1.1 million Rohingyas forcibly displaced from the neighbouring Myanmar," he said.
He also said, “This phenomenon is not only impacting our land and environment severely but also our development and adaptation efforts.”