Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called for ensuring 100 billion US dollars a year for developing countries to save them from climate change impacts as she placed a four-point proposal including “establishing climate justice” at a virtual “Climate Vulnerable Leaders’ Event”.
She also informed that her government has decided to launch a program to develop national “Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan” to help mobilise resources for the implementation of a new pathway to secure the future of the people.
“We should ensure that at least 100 billion US dollars a year are available to developing countries for mitigation, adaptation and disaster response and recovery,” she told the event titled “Midnight Survival Deadline for the Climate” while presiding over it as the current Chair of Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).
In this connection, the prime minister put forth four-point proposal to save the planet from the adverse impact of the climate change through “robust international partnership”.
“Strict implementation of the Paris Agreement is the only way to slow down the current rate of damage caused by climate change,” she said in her first proposal.
In the second proposal, she said the governments should not only honour their national contributions under the Paris Agreement, they also need to substantially increase their ambitions. “The idea of climate justice must be established for the sake of climate and the planet,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina in her third proposal said that more vigorous provision of finance must be ensured by the major economies, Multilateral Development Bank (MDBs), and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) along with access to technology.
“Take bold actions to address and mainstream the issue of loss and damage,” she said in her fourth proposal.
Stressing the need for prompt actions to address the climate change issue, the premier said, “In our war against nature, we will only lose. All our measures manifest that we are consciously destroying the very support systems that are keeping us alive. So, the time to take action to save the planet is not tomorrow, but today.”
Sheikh Hasina said, “Today we are at the most important crossroad of human history facing the gravest global challenges of our time. Adverse impacts of climate change are harming our civilization, destroying our planet and threatening our very existence.”
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) Chair Ban Ki-moon, and heads of state and government of the CVF countries joined the event.
Sheikh Hasina said, “We, the CVF leaders and our partners, call everyone to take urgent and strong global actions to address climate emergency before the 2020 NDC Enhancement deadline.”
Mentioning that Bangladesh is honoured to be chosen to lead the Climate Vulnerable Forum for the second time, she said that the CVF represents over one billion people of the world’s most vulnerable countries.
She continued that the CVF countries suffer the most despite their insignificant contribution to the global carbon emission.
The premier said, “As president, our focus would be galvanizing support for the goal to keep the global temperature-increase up to 1.5 degrees, accelerating financing mechanisms and highlighting the narratives of climate resilience, and ‘loss and damage’ issue.”
She went on saying, “We will also put emphasis on appointing a UN Special Rapporteur on Climate Change and creating a CVF and V20 Joint Multi-Donor Fund.”
The premier said that Bangladesh launched the South Asian regional office for Global Center of Adaptation in Dhaka on September 8.
“It’ll act as the Secretariat for Bangladesh presidency and facilitate, support and develop appropriate actions in South Asia to enhance climate resiliency in the region,” she said.
Referring to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index, 2019 of German Watch, Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh is the “seventh most affected countries” of the world due to the adverse impacts of climate change.
“My country is facing recurrent flooding this monsoon causing immense damage to crops and displacing huge people. The impact of super cyclone Amphan in last May along with current COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the situation,” she said.
Regarding Rohingya issue, she said that 1.1 million displaced Rohingya nationals from Myanmar given shelter at Cox’s Bazar are also causing serious social and environmental damages.
In this connection the premier said in Bangladesh, the government has been implementing various mitigation and adaptation programmes to combat the climate-induced disasters.
“My government has so far allocated USD 430 million from its own resources under Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund since 2009,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said millions of tree-saplings are being planted every year across the country.
The premier also said Bangladeshi scientists have developed saline, flood and drought resistant crops and floating agriculture technology. “My government has been spending on an average US$ 2 billion, 1 percent of the GDP, per year since 2010 for adaptation purposes,” she said.
Pointing out the celebration of the birth centenary of the Father of our Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu recognized the threats of natural calamities and took initiatives to protect people.
The prime minister said that she is happy that many other CVF countries are also managing climate change impacts efficiently.
She added that Costa Rica produces 100% renewable electricity for most of the year. In Ethiopia, 4 billion tree seedlings were planted last year and 20 billion will be planted by 2024.
Sheikh Hasina said that despite individual efforts, the robust international partnership remains indispensable for the climate-vulnerable countries to minimize the profound loss and damage.
She said the world is at the edge of the cliff of surpassing the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Centigrade limit and this is a clear point of no return. “And from the G20 countries which account for more than three-quarters of global emissions, we expect clear and definite NDC for effective reduction of their emission,” she said.
The prime minister said that if the current trend of sea level rise is continuing, most of the island and coastal countries will go under water making millions of people climate refugees and the world does not have the capacity to shelter these refugees.
Realizing this, she said, Bangladesh parliament declared a “Planetary Emergency” and called on the world to work “on a war-footing’’ to stop climate change.
“Following COP 26’s postponement, the decisive hour now falls at midnight on December the 31st this year when we declare our extended NDCs. This is practically our ‘survival deadline’,” she added.
She added: “On behalf of CVF, we launch today the CVF “Midnight Survival Deadline for the Climate” initiative to urge every leader of every nation to show leadership now, she added.
The premier said, “Convening alongside the UNGA, we also declare our call for an international day to be named “Climate Resilience Day” to secure our harmony with the Mother Earth.”