“Never has there been more at stake for us on this planet we call home, and for every species we share it with,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has written in an opinion piece.
Published in Politico on November 6, 2022, Sheikh Hasina’s write-up calls for urgent action to fulfill the promises made at COP26 — to assist nations like Bangladesh in facing the brutal realities of climate change.
Excerpts from PM Hasina’s opinion piece:
Rousing speeches and inspiring language are but hollow sentiments now — just empty rhetoric and fine-spun nothings in the absence of the robust action that scientists have long been urging.
For the people of Sylhet in Bangladesh, facing the worst floods in a century, words aren’t close to enough. Words didn’t prevent flash floods from carrying away their homes, destroying their livelihoods, killing their loved ones. And tweets of support or small aid packages aren’t nearly enough for the 33 million affected by the floods in Pakistan last month.
Instead, what I am calling for today is action — action to fulfill the promises made last year at COP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, to assist nations like mine in facing the harshest realities of a warming planet. And as world leaders prepare to gather once again, this time Sharm El-Sheikh, I call upon my esteemed colleagues to find the means to honor the commitments they made, and to at least double the provisions for adaptation as well as finance by 2025.
Read: COP27 climate talks begin as world grapples with multiple crises
This pledged financial support from developed countries should be considered a moral obligation — and it is vital to climate vulnerable countries such as mine. This can’t be left to some future date either. If it is to protect against the wide-ranging consequences of climate change that we have been battling, and continue to battle at this very moment, assistance needs to be immediate.
Bangladesh currently contributes 0.56 percent to global carbon emissions, and yet, the proportion of damage inflicted upon our nation from climate change is overwhelming.
Rising sea levels, coastal erosion, droughts, heat and flooding will all continue to take a serious toll on our economy. They will wreak havoc on our infrastructure and agricultural industry as we face considerable challenges in averting, minimizing and addressing the loss and damage associated with climate change impact, including extreme and slow onset events.