Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday alleged that Climate Vulnerable Forum's repeated calls for an equal distribution of climate finance between adaptation and mitigation have received little response. “The Adaptation Fund needs to live up to expectations,” she said while speaking at a High-Level Thematic Session of Climate Ambition Summit “Delivering Climate Justice: Accelerating Ambition and Implementation on Adaptation and Early Warnings for All” at the UN Headquarters. Hasina said that as a climate justice advocate, Bangladesh stands ready to align with any constructive move that advances the agenda. “We also expect the world’s major economies to remain honest about climate change and do their fair share to avert the impending crisis,” she said. World must learn from past mistakes to prevent another pandemic like Covid-19: PM Hasina tells high-level UN meet She mentioned that Bangladesh is generally considered a global leader in climate adaptation. “We have a number of nature-based, structural, and technical solutions in place that can be replicated in other parts of the world,” she said. She mentioned that the government has released its National Adaptation Plan with a projected need for 230 billion US dollars by 2050. PM Hasina attends banquet hosted by President Biden “We would like to see the Adaptation Pipeline Accelerator come up with a viable model for financing and technological support,” she said. She mentioned that Bangladesh has made considerable investments in early warning systems. She said that the government has reduced fatalities to a single digit compared to the millions that perished during the Bhola Cyclone in 1970. “We have one of the world’s largest community volunteer programmes comprising 65,000 coastal people. Our latest National Plan for Disaster Management has adopted an integrated multi-hazard early warning approach,” she said. She informed that Bangladesh is using mobile technology to provide regular updates on weather forecasts. “Bangladesh has requested the UN system to conduct a table-top exercise on nation-wide earthquake modelling,” she said. PM Hasina honoured for her UN-recognised community clinic model in Bangladesh She mentioned that Bangladesh’s experience demonstrates that investing in adaptation and early warning makes perfect sense. “We hope our development partners will seize these opportunities to deliver climate justice,” she added. The prime minister said that Bangladesh is working on its second satellite, Bangabadhu II, as an Earth Observatory. “Bangladesh is willing to share its expertise with other vulnerable countries through South-South and triangular cooperation. I hope Early Warnings for All will be able to encourage MDBs and IFIs to join such efforts,” she said.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Saturday that China should not hold hostage talks on important global matters such as the climate crisis, after Beijing cut off contacts with Washington in retaliation for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan earlier this week. Blinken spoke in an online news conference with his Philippine counterpart in Manila after meeting newly elected President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and other top officials, as relations between Washington and Beijing plummeted to their worst level in years. Pelosi’s trip to the self-governed island outraged China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. China on Thursday launched military exercises off Taiwan’s coasts and on Friday cut off contacts with the U.S. on vital issues, including military matters and crucial climate cooperation, as punishments against Pelosi’s visit. “We should not hold hostage cooperation on matters of global concern because of differences between our two countries,” Blinken said. “Others are rightly expecting us to continue to work on issues that matter to the lives and livelihood of their people as well as our own.” Also read: Blinken: China military drills are 'significant escalation' He cited cooperation on climate change as a key area where China shut down contact that “doesn't punish the United States — it punishes the world.” “The world’s largest carbon emitter is now refusing to engage on combatting the climate crisis,” Blinken said, adding that China's firing of ballistic missiles that landed in waters surrounding Taiwan was a dangerous and destabilizing action. “What happens to the Taiwan Strait affects the entire region. In many ways it affects the entire world because the Strait, like the South China Sea, is a critical waterway,” he said, noting that nearly half the global container fleet and nearly 90% of the world’s largest ships transit through the waterway. China shut “military-to-military channels, which are vital for avoiding miscommunication and avoiding crisis, but also cooperation on transnational crimes and counter-narcotics, which help keep people in the United States, China and beyond, safe,” he said. Despite China's actions, Blinken said he told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Friday in Cambodia, where they attended an annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, that the U.S. did not want to escalate the situation. Also read: China sanctions Pelosi, sends 100 warplanes to Taiwan drills “We seek to deescalate those tensions and we think dialogues are a very important element of that,” he said, adding the U.S. would “keep our channels of communication with China open with the intent of avoiding escalation to the misunderstanding or miscommunication.” Blinken is the highest ranking American official to visit the Philippines since Marcos Jr. took office on June 30 following a landslide election victory. In his brief meeting with Blinken, Marcos Jr. mentioned he was surprised by the turn of events related to Pelosi's visit to Taiwan this week. "It just demonstrated it — how the intensity of that conflict has been,” Marcos Jr. said based on a transcript released by the presidential palace. “This just demonstrates how volatile the international diplomatic scene is not only in the region,” he added. Marcos Jr. praised the vital relationship between Manila and Washington, which are treaty allies, and U.S. assistance to the Philippines over the years. Blinken reiterated Washington’s commitment to the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines and “to working with you on shared challenges.” Blinken told journalists he also discussed with Marcos Jr. strengthening democracy and U.S. commitment to work with the Philippines to defend the rule of law, protect human rights, freedom of expression and safeguard civil society groups, “which are critical to our alliance." Describing the Philippines as ”an irreplaceable friend," he said he reiterated to the president that an armed attack on Filipino forces, public vessels or aircraft in the South China Sea “will invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments.” Blinken arrived Friday night in Manila after attending the ASEAN meetings in Cambodia, where he was joined by his Chinese and Russian counterparts. ASEAN foreign ministers called for “maximum restraint” as China mounted war drills around Taiwan and moved against the U.S., fearing the situation “could destabilize the region and eventually could lead to miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences among major powers.” In Manila, Blinken was also scheduled to visit a vaccination clinic and meet groups helping fight coronavirus outbreaks and then go to a clean energy fair and meet U.S. Embassy staff before flying out Saturday night. Shortly before Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, as speculation rose that her aircraft might stop over briefly at the former U.S. Clark Air Force base north of Manila for refueling, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said in a TV interview he hoped “the Philippine side will strictly abide by the one-China principle and handle all Taiwan-related issues with prudence to ensure sound and steady development of China-Philippines relations.” Huang’s remarks drew a sharp rebuke from opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who said “the ambassador shouldn’t pontificate on such policies, especially considering that his country stubbornly and steadfastly refuses to recognize a decision rendered by an international arbitral court and ignores and flouts international law in the West Philippine Sea when it suits her interest.” Hontiveros was referring to a 2016 arbitration ruling on a Philippine complaint that invalidated China’s vast territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea. She used the Philippine name for the disputed waters. China has dismissed that ruling, which was welcomed by the U.S. and Western allies, as a sham and continues to defy it.
Worldwide food insecurity, climate crisis, the war in Ukraine and other emergencies from Africa to Afghanistan, forced around 100 million people to flee their homes, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said Thursday. Today, one in every 78 people on earth is displaced; it is a "dramatic milestone" that few would have expected a decade ago, the agency added. By the end of 2021, the number displaced by war, violence, persecution and human rights abuses stood at 89.3 million, according to the UNHCR's annual Global Trends report. That was up eight percent from 2020 and "well over double the figure of 10 years ago," the report's authors said, attributing last year's increase to numerous escalating conflicts "and new ones that flared." "Every year of the last decade, the numbers climbed," said UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi. "Either the international community comes together to take action to address this human tragedy, resolve conflicts and find lasting solutions, or this terrible trend will continue." The 100 million displaced figure was reached in May, 10 weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine prompted a global cereal and fertiliser shortage from these major exporters. In all, 23 countries with a combined population of 850 million faced "medium or high-intensity conflicts," the UN agency said, citing World Bank data. Among the 89.3 million globally displaced last year, 27.1 million were refugees – 21.3 million under the UNHCR's mandate, and 5.8 million Palestinians under the care of the UN Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA. Another 53.2 million were internally displaced people, 4.6 million asylum seekers, and 4.4 million Venezuelans left with little option but to flee their country's economic and political crisis. Data from the UNHCR report underscored the crucial role played by the world's developing nations in sheltering displaced people, with low and middle-income nations hosting more than four in five of the world's refugees. With 3.8 million refugees within its borders, Türkiye hosts the largest number of refugees, followed by Colombia, with 1.8 million (including Venezuelan nationals), Uganda and Pakistan (1.5 million each) and Germany (1.3 million). Also read: Nearly 37 million children displaced worldwide: UNICEF
Bangladesh and the Maldives on Saturday held the first-ever bilateral consultations reaffirming their commitment to work together in regional and multilateral fora, especially on issues of climate change and regional security. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen led the delegation at the bilateral consultations held in Male’ between Bangladesh and the Maldives. Foreign Secretary of the Maldives Abdul Ghafoor led the Maldives delegation. The Maldivian sides sought support from Bangladesh for the recruitment of skilled human resources, including specialized doctors and nurses. They also sought support from Bangladesh for specialized courses in higher education, especially the medical one. Read: Hasina for strengthening connectivity with Maldives Both the Foreign Secretaries noted the excellent relations that exist between the two countries and reaffirmed to further strengthen that in the days to come.
U.N. climate talks closed Saturday with an agreement on efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels after a last-minute compromise on coal power. Participants from nearly 200 countries also agreed that accelerated action is necessary this decade to address global greenhouse gas emissions, as they wrapped up the nearly two-week conference in Glasgow, which was extended by one day. The agreement at the climate talks, known as COP26, was reached after India and other coal-reliant countries raised objections in last-minute negotiations, which watered down language to a commitment to the "phase-down" of coal power instead of "phase-out." Alok Sharma, the president of COP26, said that confining temperature increase to 1.5 C above preindustrial levels is "a historic agreement" as it had been a major goal when Britain took on the role of the presidency-designate two years ago. Read: Climate consensus appears near; India objects to coal plans Still, "what this will be judged on is not just the fact that countries have signed up, but it will be judged on whether they meet and deliver on the commitments," he said. Japanese Environment Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, who attended the talks, said his country will maintain its policy of using coal power, though it will continue to promote the development of technology to reduce carbon emissions and "prioritize renewable energy as the main power source." Japan has become more reliant on coal power after suspending nuclear power plants following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. It plans to generate 20 percent of total nationwide power through coal in fiscal 2030, in contrast to European countries' shift away from coal power. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has urged world leaders to take immediate and drastic actions, tweeted, "The #COP26 is over. Here's a brief summary: Blah, blah, blah," adding, "the real work continues outside these halls." Read: Climate talks resume, cautious coal phaseout still on table The 2015 Paris accord sets out a global framework to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change by limiting global warming to "well below" 2 C, preferably to 1.5 C, compared with levels before the Industrial Revolution. One of the goals of the COP26, the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, was to keep alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 C. The participating countries must also review and strengthen their emissions-cut targets for 2030 by the end of 2022 under their agreement.
Thump, thump, thump. In the frantic last hours of U.N. climate talks in Scotland, a senior diplomat from Luxembourg came sprinting down a hallway inside the summit venue, his hair flying as he whooshed by clutching a sheaf of papers, only to vanish inside an office as abruptly as he appeared. The final stretch of negotiations over what nearly 200 governments will do next about fossil fuels heating the Earth to disastrous levels was like that Friday: National delegations engaged in frenetic, often mysterious activity as they haggled to get as much of their position as possible into the final agreement from the talks in Glasgow. U.S. diplomats mostly worked behind closed doors, with terse signs on the glass. The open doors of most other country's offices – South Korea, Ivory Coast, Austria, and others – showed rooms full of diplomats bent intently over their laptops, eyes fixed on screens and fingers flying over keyboards. Chinese diplomats crowded into one of their offices stopped working, laughed and took photos when a wayward robin hopped in among them, lost in the warren of temporary tents and the event center. In the office of India's delegation, there was muted excitement. Delegates sat cross legged on the floor, typing furiously on their laptops. A vase in the office held fresh pink lilies. Endless cups of chai flowed in preparation for what would be a long night.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller has said that the world must put in joint efforts to confront the climate crisis right now instead of leaving the challenge for future generations. “The climate crisis is here. This is not a challenge for future generations. Together, we must confront it today," he said mentioning that COP26 in Glasgow is a pivotal moment at the start of this decisive decade to tackle the climate crisis. While COP26 continues in Glasgow, Scotland, Miller visited U.S. government climate resilience projects in Cox’s Bazar and travelled to St. Martin’s Island to assess the effects of climate change and learn about local adaptation efforts. Also read: COP26: Bangladesh announces 37bn-dollar budget to tackle climate change damages Miller learned about severe coastal erosion and sea level rise on the island, the impact on local fisheries, the degradation of coral colonies, and local efforts to restore mangroves and protect shorelines.
Bangladesh has adopted a 37bn-dollar programme for mitigation of climate change damages along the country’s coastal areas, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Enamur Rahman has said here. He said this at a COP26 side event organized by the ministry in Glasgow on Thursday afternoon. Climate change-related incidents displace about 50,000 people every year in Bangladesh, the minister added. In his speech at the event Enamur said Bangladesh is widely considered as one of the most vulnerable countries to global climate change. He said inIn 2020 alone 30.7 million people were displaced due to natural disasters. In 2017 Bangladesh was the 6th most stricken country among 135 countries that experienced displacement due to floods, he said. Read: Dhaka optimistic about climate cash flow The World Bank’s Groundswell report also estimated that by 2050 19 million people of Bangladesh will be migrating internally due to slow onset climate change processes such as water scarcity, declining crop productivity and sea level rise. The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) recognizes that displacement has grave implications for the rights and entitlements of the individuals and communities. Bangladesh has framed its National Strategy on Internal Displacement Management in January 2021. “I am confident that COP 26 will be able to develop a mechanism for institutionalizing loss and damage,” he said. Read: Effective climate plans not possible without funds: Hasina “I am also hopeful that this year's COP will be able to introduce concessional instruments in case of climate finance,” he added. Natural disasters are increasing in Bangladesh due to climate change, Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief Mohammad Mohsin separately told the UNB correspondent covering the event. He said Bangladesh highlighted the need for international funds to deal with the damages and loss caused by climate change.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Friday expressed optimism about adequate flow of funds to address climate change- related challenges, noting that Bangladesh has taken a very strong leadership role in COP26. "We've got a lot of good assurance from the private sector and the governments. We're hopeful," Dr Momen told reporters at a virtual briefing joining from London. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem were present. The COP26 summit, hosted by the UK in Glasgow, has brought parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh needs to work a lot, especially in preparing good proposals, which he sees as a challenge but achievable. "We've a long way to go. We've a challenge but we can manage to get plenty of funds," he said, adding that there is willingness to provide funds. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been identified as one of the five influential dealmakers at COP26 being held at Glasgow, according to a BBC report that described Hasina as “voice of the vulnerable”. Read: Effective climate plans not possible without funds: Hasina
The global women leaders at a high-level event here on Tuesday adopted a declaration with a call to improve women's participation and leadership in all climate actions as well as to connect the fight against gender inequality closely with the fight against climate change. The declaration was adopted at the High-level Panel on Women and Climate Change, held on the sideline of the COP26 World Leaders' Summit at Scottish Pavilion in Glasgow. The Scottish authority and the UN Women hosted the event to discuss the importance of women's leadership in addressing climate change and its gendered impacts. In the declaration titled “Glasgow Women’s Leadership on Gender Equality and Climate Change,” they said Climate change is an urgent human rights issue posing a serious risk to the fundamental rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation, decent work and an adequate standard of living of individuals and communities across the world. Climate change exacerbates existing inequalities, including gender inequality, they added. The women leaders said, “We believe that the fight against climate change must be closely connected to the fight against gender inequality, and agree that ensuring women's and girls' leadership is vital if global efforts to tackle climate change are to succeed.” They said women and girls are commonly disproportionately affected by climate change and face greater risks and burdens from its impacts, particularly in situations of poverty. “Despite increased vulnerability to climate impacts, we recognize that women and girls have been creating and leading innovative climate solutions at all levels. One of the great injustices of the climate crisis is that the people and countries who are worst affected are those who have contributed at least to its causes,” they added. Read: BGMEA showcases RMG industry’s strides in sustainability in COP26 “We therefore call for all climate actions to recognize the differentiated impact of climate change by factors such as age, gender, disability and location, and ensure women's and girls' voice and agency and their full and effective participation and leadership in policy and decision. - making at community, national and international levels, and increase ambition in all sectors,” the leaders said. Expressing their gratefulness to those who have led efforts to date at government, intergovernmental, private sector and civil society levels to advance the interests of women and girls in climate action, they said, “We particularly acknowledge women leaders, especially young women and girls at all levels who have championed this agenda, and commit to pushing forward their work including through increased financing, broadening partnerships, and advocacy.” The women leaders welcomed the dedicated agenda item under the UNFCCC addressing issues of gender and climate change and the 5-year enhanced Lima work program on gender and its gender action plan agreed at COP 25. “We hope to see strong efforts by all stakeholders to implement the activities included in the GAP,” they said. They acknowledged parallel efforts to promote gender equality in climate change policies, programs and initiatives, including the UN Secretary General's initiative on Gender and Climate Change, launched at the Global Climate Action Summit 2019, and the Feminist Action for Climate Justice action coalition under the Generation Equality Forum. “We encourage all countries yet to pledge action under these important initiatives to do so before the sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) in March 2022. At CSW 66, we will work towards achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programs,” they added. Read: At COP26, over 100 countries pledge to end deforestation The leaders agreed on the importance of achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, notably Sustainable Development Goal 5 on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. “We agree that concrete actions are needed to improve women's and girls' participation and leadership in all climate actions,” they said. The women leaders called all leaders - women and men - both in government and civil society - to commit to increased and sustained support for women and girls' climate change initiatives at the national and global levels in order to achieve sustainable progress towards meeting the challenges of the climate crisis. The statement will remain open to further signatures from women leaders from across government, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, business and civil society till the 66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2022. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Sima Sami Bahous, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu and Iceland Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, among others, were present at the event.