Senior Correspondent bdnews24.com
Published: 2019-03-30 10:17:43 BdST
“The big emitters must go for rapid mitigation of GHGs, and the pledges to mobilise $100 billion annually by 2020 and an ambitious replenishment for the Green Climate Fund in 2019 must be materialised,” State minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam said.
He 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,” he said, speaking at the High-Level Meeting on ‘Climate and Sustainable Development for All’ at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday.
He said the international community must support vulnerable developing countries with financial resources and appropriate technologies in support of their adaptation efforts.
The General Assembly convened this meeting to focus the protection of the global climate for present and future generations, in the context of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
It is a part of the preparatory process for the upcoming Climate Action Summit of the Secretary-General scheduled in September 2019 to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.
The state minister said the findings of the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degree Celsius about the dangerous consequences of global warming in the areas of poverty eradication, food security, and public health are “alarming”.
“Thus, our conviction is reinforced that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is contingent upon our success in halting global climate change and reduce disaster risks,” he said.
Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world.
The impacts of climate change will put severe stress on its limited land. The rapid meltdown of the glaciers will dry up rivers, which are basically the catchments of the Himalayan glaciers.
This will impact the fertility of land leading to desertification. Climate change and sea level rise induced salinity and other disasters are also harming rice and other crop production significantly.
Just a 1-degree centigrade increase of global temperature and further sea level rise will result in inundation of large parts of Bangladesh and the subsequent displacement of 40 million people by the end of this century.
“Two percent of our GDP is regularly lost due to natural calamities and environmental degradation,” the state minister said.
“Hence, climate change poses an existential threat to our over 160 million people, although we had hardly contributed to the deterioration of the environment.”
He highlighted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s commitment to the Paris Agreement at different international fora with the claim that, “Bangladesh will never exceed the average per capita emission of the developing world.”
“Tackling climate change is directly linked with sustainable development and resilience building,” Alam said, “In line with this perspective, Bangladesh is carrying forward its efforts for sustainable development with specific plans for ‘carbon budgeting’, ‘de-carbonisation of manufacturing pathways’ and low-carbon industrialisation.”
He, however, said the Rohingya crisis is “not only impacting our land and environment severely but also our development and adaptation efforts” as Bangladesh has given shelter to 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.