Though Bangladesh is one of the worst victims of climate change with almost no contribution to the cause, experts have bemoaned that the wealthier nations--who have historically contributed the most to the depletion of the ozone layer--are doing very little to help the country overcome this problem. They said Bangladesh should boost its climate diplomacy to make tackling climate change an important issue of bilateral discussions with developed countries and thus encourage them to fulfill their pledges made in the Paris Agreement. “Bangladesh is one of the worst victims of extreme weather caused by climate change for a long time. Climate change is a global issue that needs a global solution through collective efforts,” Dr Ainun Nishat, a noted climate expert, told UNB. Also read: Small solutions, big impacts: How five community-based projects tackling climate He said they have long been highlighting the issue of climate finance for reducing the climate change impacts, but only pledges have been made so far instead of allocating sufficient funds globally. “Bangladesh and other vulnerable countries should play an active role in different forums and international conferences on climate change in encouraging the developed countries to deliver on their commitments to support the badly affected countries to face the devastating impacts like flash floods, droughts, heat waves, storms, cyclones, and rising sea levels,” the expert said. “Our country has been experiencing frequent natural disasters like floods, cyclones, increasing incidents of lightning strikes and landslides triggered by global warming, causing huge losses to human lives and natural resources,” Dr Nishat observed. Bangladesh was the seventh most-affected country in the world by “extreme weather events” over the 20 years, according to a report by Global Climate Risk Index 2019. Renowned environmental expert Dr Atiq Rahman, who was recognised by the UN as one of the Champions of the Earth in 2008, Bangladesh is not only facing the loss of lives and resources due to the adverse impacts of the climate change, but also facing a threat to food security due to an abnormal shift in its traditional six seasons. Also read: Dhaka calls for more IOM role in helping climate migrants He said farmers in Bangladesh are going through serious difficulties with the cultivation of various crops due to changes in temperature, wind-flow and rainfall patterns. “For an example, farmers face problems in the process of ‘retting’ the jute plants for lack of rainwater. At the same time, the farmers cannot plant their paddy timely during the monsoon period for lack of adequate rainfall.” Besides Dr Rahman, executive director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, said winter in Bangladesh is getting less biting, but foggier, hampering the crop production. Dr Ainun Nishat also the impacts of climate change will continue to affect the country‘s agriculture sector in many ways. “The agricultural calendar that has long been followed by the farmers of the country is changing erratically due to rise in temperature and variations in wind-flow and rainfall patterns which is eventually harming the food chain. Besides, he said crop production is also being hampered due to flash floods and droughts caused by growing temperature. Citing different local and international studies, the expert said around 30 million people are “predicted to be at risk” of sea-level rise in Bangladesh by 2050 while the annual rise in sea level in the country ranges between 6mm and 20mm. He said the rise in sea level is contributing to increasing salinity and climate-induced migration in the coastal areas. “People in some coastal districts are being forced to migrate to different districts due to an increase in salinity. According to a World Bank study, climate change will cause significant changes in river salinity in the southwest coastal region during the dry season (October to May) by 2050, and will likely lead to shortages of drinking and irrigation water and cause changes in aquatic ecosystems. Under the circumstances, Both Dr Nishat and Dr Rahman said Bangladesh should focus on climate diplomacy to mount pressure on the industrialised countries to compensate for the losses and damages the country is facing due to climate change and ensure sufficient financing for adaptation and resilience building.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam has said the Paris Agreement, SDGs and Sendai Framework must be fully implemented to address the root causes of climate-induced migration and displacement. He made the call while speaking at a webinar on "Climate Change and Migration and Displacement Nexus" on Tuesday. António Vitorino, Director-General, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives France, Egypt and Germany, Charge d'affaires of Ghana, and representatives from different stakeholders spoke. Md. Mustafizur Rahman, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh in Geneva, moderated the webinar. Read: Bangladesh, US can work together to showcase effective climate actions: FM The webinar was organized by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in Geneva under the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). Bangladesh is currently leading the 55- member forum for the second term. Mentioning that Bangladesh is at the forefront of the climate crisis, the State Minister said that migration and displacement of a staggering number of people are inevitable unless climate actions are not accelerated globally.
Renewing her call for strict implementation of the Paris Agreement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked global leaders to take stronger steps urgently to address the planetary emergency of climate change. Sheikh Hasina also placed six-point proposal before the global leaders as the COP-26 is just few months away. Addressing a closed-door leaders’ meeting arranged for a small group of heads of state and governments on Climate Change held at Trusteeship Council of the UN Headquarters on Monday. READ: PM arrives in New York to attend UNGA The proposal include strict implementation of the Paris Agreement to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degree Celsius, realisation of annual $100 billion climate fund from the developed countries, 50 per cent of this fund should go to adaptation and resilience, especially to climate vulnerable countries. The other proposals are: Forging new financial mechanisms and transfer of green technology to the developing countries, addressing loss-and-damage issue, and displacement of large-scale population due to climate change and capacity building of CVF countries to tackle the double jeopardy of pandemic and disaster, particularly with the increased frequency of climate-induced disasters. “Finally, we need a ‘whole-of-the-world’ approach to leave a sustainable future for our next generations,” she said. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UN Secretary General António Guterres convened the meeting. Hasina said climate vulnerable countries contribute the least to the global Green House gas emissions. “Yet, they’re the worst victims of the impacts of climate change.”
“The world urgently needs a clear and unambiguous commitment to the 1.5 degree goal of the Paris Agreement from all G20 nations”, António Guterres has said after the Group failed to agree on the wording of key climate change commitments during their recent Ministerial Meeting on Environment, Climate and Energy. “There is no pathway to this goal without the leadership of the G20. This signal is desperately needed by the billions of people already on the frontlines of the climate crisis and by markets, investors and industry who require certainty that a net zero climate resilient future is inevitable”, the UN Secretary General urged in a statement. Read: Ensure reproductive health rights of all: UN chief The UN chief reminded that science indicates that to meet that ‘ambitious, yet achievable goal’, the world must achieve carbon neutrality before 2050 and cut dangerous greenhouse gas emissions by 45 % by 2030 from 2010 levels. “But we are way off track”, he warned. The world needs the G20 to deliver With less than 100 days left before the 2021 United Nations Climate Conference COP 26, a pivotal meeting that will be held in Glasgow at the end of October, António Guterres urged all G20 and other leaders to commit to net zero by mid-century, present more ambitious 2030 national climate plans and deliver on concrete policies and actions aligned with a net zero future, according to UN News. Read: Next 10 years final chance to avert climate catastrophe: UN chief These include no new coal after 2021, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and agreeing to a minimum international carbon pricing floor as proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “The G7 and other developed countries must also deliver on a credible solidarity package of support for developing countries including meeting the US$100 billion goal, increasing adaptation and resilience support to at least 50% of total climate finance and getting public and multilateral development banks to significantly align their climate portfolios to meet the needs of developing countries”, he highlighted. Read:Global hunger levels rise as conflict, climate shocks and Covid collide The UN Chief informed that he intends to use the opportunity of the upcoming UN General Assembly high-level session to bring leaders together to reach a political understanding on these critical elements of the ‘package’ needed for Glasgow. A setback for Glasgow The G20 ministers, which met in Naples, Italy on July 23-25, couldn’t agree to a common language on two disputed issues related to phasing out coal and the 1.5-degree goal, which now will have to be discussed at the G20 summit in Rome in October, just one day before the COP 26 starts.
Vulnerable economies on Thursday called upon the rich nations to avert global climate-Covid economic threat. The 48 most vulnerable economies demand “2020-2024 delivery plan” for the missing $100 billion annual Paris Agreement climate assistance. Led by Bangladesh as chair of the V20, the world’s most climate vulnerable economies met virtually as heads of state and government, ministers of finance and economy, together with leaders of the United Nations, partner economies and the global financial system to address the compound, destabilizing effect of climate disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic on low- and middle-income economies. The ‘Vulnerable Twenty’ (V20) Group of Finance Ministers released a Communique that called for leadership by industrialized nations and cooperation to urgently transform and align the global economic system with the goals of the Paris Climate treaty for a more robust, greener, and equitable recovery. The first ‘Climate Vulnerables Finance Summit’ was opened by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She said every country must pursue an ambitious target to curb Greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperatures from rising to 1.5ºC. "This target has been approved through a global consensus, but we have not observed any visible action”, said the Prime Minister adding that “I urge all, particularly the G20 nations to show their actions.” She indicated that the tragedies faced by the most vulnerable will haunt the world economy if urgent action is not taken and the economic and financial support needs of the V20 are not met, stating that “Developed nations need to articulate a concrete delivery plan on how the shortfall of annual climate finance will be met between 2020 and 2024. They should facilitate the green recovery of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF)-V20 by providing monetary assistance, transferring technology, and building capacity.
Bangladesh and the United Kingdom are planning to sign a "climate accord" before COP26 and expressed optimism for a successful outcome of the COP26 with a possible CVF-COP26 event at Glasgow. The two countries agreed to work together to put nature at the heart of their climate action, building on the 2020 Leaders’ Pledge for Nature and realising shared commitments towards conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as those under the Global Ocean Alliance and the Commonwealth Blue Charter. As founding members of the Adaptation Action Coalition, Bangladesh and the UK renewed their commitment to work together with other Coalition members to accelerate adaptation on the ground with a particular emphasis on promoting locally led climate action, according to a joint statement issued on Thursday. The two countries will do more to avert, minimise, and address Loss and Damage, said the joint statement on climate action between the two countries. Bangladesh and the UK will work together to get the network operating, following the UK-led Climate and Development Ministerial and drawing on the expertise in the UK, Bangladesh and internationally. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma met on Wednesday during the visit of COP26 President-designate to Bangladesh on June 2-4. Also read: COP26: Alok Sharma pledges support for Bangladesh towards clean energy transition They jointly reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing cooperation between Bangladesh and the United Kingdom in tackling climate change’s causes and adverse effects. They agreed to demonstrate sustained leadership to tackle the climate emergency bilaterally and globally. The two countries agreed to exchange expertise, share technology, facilitate partnerships, and identify practical solutions to common climate challenges.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday laid emphasis on the strict implementation of the Paris Agreement, saying that it is the only way to check global emissions and thereby global warming. "The time to take action to save the planet is not tomorrow, but today," she said in her prerecorded video message in the Foreign Policy Virtual Climate Summit. The Prime Minister said that climate change is not boundary-specific. "If one country emits, every country is affected. So, every country would have to play its role," she said. She, however, said the rich countries, especially the G20 nations, should play the main role in halting the global emission. Sheikh Hasina also hailed the USA's return to the Paris Agreement and appreciated US President Joe Biden’s decision and also about holding the Leaders’ Summit last week. She stressed the importance of implementing the Paris Agreement wherein the international community pledged to form a USD 100-billion fund each year for the adaptation and mitigation purposes. Hasina said that in the Paris Climate Accord, member countries have agreed not to allow the global temperature to rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius. Also read: Leaders' Summit on Climate: Dhaka optimistic about $100 billion fund "But nothing substantial has so far been done to check the emission of greenhouse gases which are responsible for the temperature rise," she bemoaned. Sheikh Hasina said the global temperature is rising and there is no doubt about it. “And this temperature-rise is the main culprit of all ills. The continuous rise in global temperature is the most pressing concern for human kind. "After the Covid-19, the most discussed subject of the time perhaps is climate change. Climate change has now become a huge threat to every country, especially the climate vulnerable countries like Bangladesh," she said. The Prime Minister said that the entire world is passing through a tough time due to the Covid-19 pandemic claiming a large number lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more every day. "We need united efforts to get rid of the deadly virus." Talking about the challenges of Bangladesh on the climate change issue, the Prime Minister said that countries like Bangladesh have been experiencing increased frequencies and ferocities of various natural calamities like flood, drought, tidal surge, nor’wester and lightning. "Currently, a heatwave is sweeping over my country." Last year, she said that Bangladesh experienced heavy monsoon that submerged one-third of Bangladesh. Several cyclones, including super cyclone Amphan, also hit the country last year. “All these phenomena are due to climate change.” Also read: Strict implementation of Paris deal only way forward for sustainable future: Dhaka "Bangladesh is not an emitter. In fact, no member country of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) is a significant emitter. But we’re the worst sufferers. Every year 2% of my country’s GDP is lost to extreme climate events." In this connection, she mentioned about the 1.1 million forcibly evicted Rohingyas from Myanmar that Bangladesh has given shelter in the environmentally critical Cox’s Bazar district heavily affected the ecology of the area. Hasina also said that the bottom 100 countries account for just 3.5% of the global emission whereas the G20 countries are responsible for 80%. The CVF countries are at the forefront of climate adaptation. She mentioned that Bangladesh is the first LDC to establish a Climate Change Trust Fund. So far, it spent over USD 415 million from its own resources to implement over 800 mitigation and adaptation programmes. “Our Parliament adopted a motion in 2019 declaring the current state of climate vulnerability as a planetary emergency.” Hasina went on saying, "We’re planting 30 million saplings and launched a programme called 'Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan', marking the birth centenary of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman." She said that Bangladesh is spending on average 2.5% of its GDP equivalent to US$ 5 billion each year on climate adaptation and resilience-building. Bangladesh has built 12,000 cyclone shelters and 200,000 hectares of coastal green belts. Also read: Hasina places 4 suggestions to deal with climate challenge The scientists of Bangladesh have invented salinity and flood-tolerant crops, rain reservoirs and pond-sand-filters, floating agriculture technology and mobile water treatment plants for the coastal people, she said. The Prime Minister said: "The provisions of water bodies and tree plantation are ensured while implementing any project. We’re creating artificial mangrove forests in the chars and shoals of coastal districts." The government is building cyclone-resistant houses for the poor in the cyclone-prone areas, she said, adding, “For preserving water and increasing navigability, we are dredging rivers and canals throughout the country.” She also mentioned that the Global Centre on Adaptation has set up its South Asian Regional Office in Dhaka. The centre is working to disseminate local-based innovative adaptation practices. Editor-in-Chief of Foreign Policy Ravi Agrawal moderated the event. The Prince of Wales Charles, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, Foreign Minister of Japan Toshimitsu Motegi, President of COP26 Alok Sharma and Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth of United Kingdom Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP, among others, spoke at the programme.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said the government wants to develop the country and for that reason it needs more energy. “We want the development of our country. That’s why we need energy,” she said while visiting Special US Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry called on her at her official residence. PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim later briefed reporters. He said the Prime Minister mentioned that as the source of clean energy, Bangladesh put emphasis on producing more energy from hydroelectric power plants. “We’ve only one hydroelectric power generation plant. Now we’re in discussion with Nepal, Bhutan and India to set up hydroelectric plants through bilateral or trilateral initiatives on regional basis,” she said. She also said that there are around 5.8 million solar connectivity in the country. Also read: Make no mistake; take action: Kerry on dealing with climate crisis together “Agriculture sector also needs solar energy for irrigation,” she said. Sheikh Hasina deeply appreciated the decision of the US to return to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. “This’ll create new momentum in climate change diplomacy,” she said.
John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, on Friday laid emphasis on taking action without taking any mistake to deal with the global climate crisis noting that the US administration is looking for greater collaboration with Bangladesh on the issue. “So, we know from the scientists - we must all take action,” he said seeking joint efforts to protect the countries, citizens and the future generations as no single country can solve the climate crisis today. Kerry made the remarks at a joint media briefing at State guesthouse Padma after his meeting with Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at the same venue. “We’ve the ability to work together now in order to bring technology, research, development and finance to the table to do what we know we must do,” he said. Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Shahab Uddin, Saber Hossain Chowdhy, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Special Envoy for the Vulnerable Forum Presidency Abul Kalam Azad, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller were present. The visit underscored the US commitment to strengthen implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change designed to limit global warming. Also read: US focuses on Myanmar issues; lauds Bangladesh's extraordinary generosity As part of the Paris outcome, developed countries were urged to scale up their level of support with a concrete roadmap to achieve the goal of mobilising US$100 billion per year for climate action in developing countries.
John Kerry, the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, is scheduled to arrive here on Friday on a brief visit during which Bangladesh will convey its priority issues on the climate front. Kerry, now in India on a four-day visit, will hand over the US President’s invitation to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in person to attend the "Leaders Summit on Climate" to be held on April 22 and 23 virtually. Kerry is looking forward to "meaningful discussions" with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and others during his stay in Dhaka on how to tackle the climate crisis. "In Dhaka, Special Presidential Envoy Kerry will meet representatives from the government of Bangladesh and key development and international partners," a State Department spokesperson told UNB. As the president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers, the spokesperson said, Bangladesh plays a leading role in combating climate change. Also read: Leaders Summit on Climate: Kerry due Apr 9 to invite PM Hasina Marcia Bernicat, US senior official for economic growth, energy and the environment, has said Bangladesh’s leadership in addressing climate change offers the United States – and the world – a great partner to tackle this climate crisis. As president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers, she said, Bangladesh can make irreplaceable contributions towards a successful COP26. As a climate vulnerable country, Bernicat said, Bangladesh will require significant climate adaptation and resilience, especially in view of its increasingly ambitious climate goals. US companies are well placed to deliver many of the solutions Bangladesh will need to sustainably grow its economy, she said. “Yes, we’re happy that he’s coming. We worked with him before, too,” Foreign Minister Dr Momen told UNB. Also read: Climate-induced displacement a vital security issue for all: Kerry US President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Hasina, to the “Leaders' Summit on Climate” that he will host. The virtual summit will be live-streamed for public viewing. The “Leaders Summit on Climate” will underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action. It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow. “We’ll be happy to convey our priority issues. We’ll also share the steps that Bangladesh has taken so far,” Dr Momen said. He said Bangladesh believes that adaptation is not enough and there has to be mitigation and Bangladesh needs support as promised by others. “It should be Kerry’s special target.” Dr Momen said Bangladesh did not create the problem and those responsible countries should share responsibility of rehabilitating and protecting people from the river erosions. Also read: Kerry invites Bangladesh to join US climate conference President Biden has emphasised the challenge of climate change, stating, “The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis and by placing climate change at the centre of our foreign policy, diplomacy, and national security.” During his recent meeting with Presidential Envoy on Climate John Kerry, Dr Momen discussed the global issue of climate change, and the possible US-Bangladesh collaboration in this connection. The Foreign Minister recollected the vital contribution of Kerry towards the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and welcomed the decision of the US to return to the Paris Agreement. He described various actions taken by the government of Bangladesh under the prudent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on mitigation, adaptation and resilience. Dr Momen also briefed John Kerry on all current and future activities of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) regional office in Dhaka. Also read: Climate Change: Kerry discusses possible Bangladesh-US collaboration Kerry recognised the extraordinary challenges faced by Bangladesh due to climate change and frequent natural disasters. Agreeing that the international financial institutions could do more for the issue of climate change, he also opined that displacement due to climate change would be a vital security issue for everybody. They agreed to work closely in the COP26 and other multilateral platforms in order to fulfil commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement and even go beyond Paris. President Biden took action on his first day in office to return the US to the Paris Agreement. Days later, on January 27, he announced that he would soon convene a leaders’ summit to galvanise efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis.