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Hasina calls for ‘bold’ measures, funds to fight climate change

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-09-20 23:13:41 BdST


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called on world leaders to adopt "bold and stronger measures" urgently to fight climate change and ensure a sustainable future for the next generations.

A “whole-of-the-world approach" is needed to address “planetary emergency”, she said at a roundtable hosted by her UK counterpart Boris Johnson and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York on Monday.

She placed six proposals at the closed-door meeting organised on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly, emphasising the realisation of annual $100 billion climate fund from the developed countries with 50 percent of the fund for adaptation and resilience, especially to climate vulnerable countries.

Hasina underscored the need for new financial mechanisms and transfer of green technology to the developing countries, calling for steps to address losses and damages, as well as large-scale population displacements due to climate change.

“The climate vulnerable countries contribute the least to the global Green House Gas emissions. Yet they are the worst victims of the impacts of climate change,” she said.

Hasina noted a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has provided “a grim picture” about the future of the countries vulnerable to the effects of climate change. If the global temperature goes above 1.5 degrees Celsius, they will face “permanent damages”.

“The international community has special responsibility to support these countries in their adaptation and mitigation efforts.”

Despite being a climate vulnerable country with resource constraints, Bangladesh has emerged as a “global pioneer” on adaptation and resilience, the prime minister said, describing steps taken by her government to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“We are on our journey from climate vulnerability to climate resilience to climate prosperity.”

As the chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and Vulnerable 20, Bangladesh’s key focus is to promote the interests of the climate vulnerable countries, she said.

“We are also sharing best practices and adaptation knowledge with other climate vulnerable countries through the GCA South Asia regional office in Dhaka.”

In a statement issued before the meeting, Johnson called for wealthy countries to meet a pledge to spend $100 billion a year to tackle climate change as he prepares to host the UN summit on climate change starting at the end of October.

Johnson and Guterres held the roundtable of world leaders to get rich countries to deliver on the unmet pledge, made in 2009. "Richer nations have reaped the benefits of untrammelled pollution for generations, often at the expense of developing countries," Johnson said.

"As those countries now try to grow their economies in a clean, green and sustainable way we have a duty to support them in doing so – with our technology, with our expertise and with the money we have promised."

A report released on Friday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said that rich countries likely missed a goal to contribute $100 billion last year to helping developing nations deal with climate change after increasing funding by less than 2 percent in 2019.

A UN analysis of country pledges under the Paris climate agreement released last week said that under current national pledges, global emissions would be 16 percent higher in 2030 than they were in 2010 - far off the 45 percent reduction by 2030 that scientists say is needed to stave off disastrous climate change.

Without more ambitious commitments, global temperatures could hit 2.7 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, the UN said.

[With details from Reuters]