Implement Paris Agreement to slow down climate change damage, says Bangladesh PM Hasina

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-10-08 00:51:59 BdST

Strict implementation of the Paris Agreement is the only way to slow down the current rate of damage caused by climate change, Sheikh Hasina has said.

The governments should not only honour their national contributions under the Paris Agreement, but also need to substantially increase their ambitions, the prime minister said in her address at the Climate Vulnerable Leaders’ Event on Wednesday.

“The idea of climate justice must be established for the sake of climate and the planet. More vigorous provision of finance must be ensured by the major economies, MDBs, and IFIs along with access to technology,” she said.

Bangladesh is honoured to be chosen to lead the Climate Vulnerable Forum for the second time, the prime minister said. The CVF represents over one billion people of the world’s most vulnerable countries. CVF countries suffer the most despite their insignificant contribution to global carbon emission.

According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index, 2019 of German Watch, Bangladesh is the seventh most affected countries of the world due to the adverse impacts of climate change.

The country has faced recurrent flooding this monsoon causing immense damage to crops and displacing huge people, with super cyclone Amphan and current COVID-19 pandemic aggravating the situation, Hasina mentioned. The 1.1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar given shelter at Cox’s Bazar are also causing serious social and environmental damages, she highlighted.

“As president, our focus would be galvanising 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. We will also put emphasis on appointing a UN Special Rapporteur on Climate Change and creating a CVF and V20 Joint Multi-Donor Fund,” Hasina said in her speech.

As the chair of CVF, Hasina launched the Climate Vulnerable Forum’s “Midnight Survival Deadline for the Climate” initiative to combat the global impact of climate change.

“We urge every leader of every nation to show leadership now. 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,” Hasina made the call in her address at the Climate Vulnerable Leaders’ Event on Wednesday.

The world is at the edge of the cliff of surpassing the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Centigrade limit, Hasina said adding the G20 countries which account for more than three-quarters of global emissions, are expected to have clear and definite NDC for effective reduction of their emission.

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 with the world having no capacity to shelter them, she said.

“Realising this, 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,’’ the prime minister said.

“We should also ensure that at least 100 billion US dollars a year are available to developing countries for mitigation, adaptation and disaster response and recovery,” Hasina said.