Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today stressed the need for “urgent robust global climate coalitions” to save the future generations and planet from the adverse impact of the climate change by reducing carbon emission.
“I would like to underscore the significance of positive and robust international climate coalitions that can reduce the global carbon emission effectively to move towards carbon neutrality before the mid-century,” she said.
The premier said this while addressing a virtual summit titled ‘Thimphu Ambition Summit’ on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement to create momentum for a 1.5-degree Celsius world.
The Royal Government of Bhutan, the Chair of the LDC Group in the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) organised the summit.
Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, COP26 President Alok Sharma and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, among others, spoke virtually at the function.
In her pre-recorded speech, Sheikh Hasina mentioned that the adverse impact of climate change is making millions of people climate refugees.
“So, I call for urgent and decisive action to save our future generations … UNFCCC remains the most appropriate platform to push forward our global agenda,”she said.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina said the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world how quickly a pandemic can turn into a catastrophic global crisis.
“It has also taught us that the only way to combat a global crisis is through strong collective response,” she said.
The prime minister advocated for flag that the Paris Agreement reaffirmed the obligations of the developed countries for mobilizing climate finance.
“Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), International Financial Institutions (IFIs) should come forward for more vigorous provision of climate financing through concessional finance and debt relief and ensure the access to technology for all,” she continued.
Sheikh Hasina said, moreover, extreme weather events are already displacing many more people than violent conflicts.
“Therefore, the ‘loss and damage’ provision should be mainstreamed. Likewise, relocation and protection of displaced persons need due focus in global discourses to ensure their protection,” she said.
The prime minister pointed out that during the COP-21 in Paris, the world leaders have agreed to a landmark deal to combat climate change and achieve climate resilience.
Noting that the target was to keep the global temperature rise within 1.5 degree Celsius, Sheikh Hasina said, “We must admit that our current efforts to achieve that target are highly inadequate.”
She went on saying, “As such, we need forceful, dynamic and rapid action plan to limit the global greenhouse gas emission to save us and our planet.”
Describing South Asia as the most vulnerable region to climate-induced natural disasters, the prime minister said millions of people will become climate refugees in coastal and small island countries if sea level rises by a meter.
She said that Glacial Lake Outbursts, cloud outbursts or heavy rains will bring catastrophic impacts on Himalayan countries like Bhutan, Nepal and parts of India.
Mentioning that though Bangladesh has no contribution to global warming, Sheikh Hasina said it is one of the most vulnerable countries for its limited coping capacities and specific geographical features.
As per ADB’s prediction, Bangladesh would face annual economic cost equivalent to 2% of its GDP by 2050 and up to 9.4% by 2100 if current emissions continue, she said, adding, “I’m sure that it is true for all other LDCs and climate vulnerable countries.”
The prime minister said her government, however, has taken excellent adaptation and mitigation activities to enhance Bangladesh’s climate resilience.
“This year we’re planting 11.5 million trees across the nation marking the ‘Mujib Borsho’, the birth centenary of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. We’ve also launched ‘Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan’ to mobilize resources for a secured future,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned with pleasure that Bangladesh has been honoured to be chosen to lead the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) for the second term.
“We’ve also established the regional office of Global Centre on Adaptation for South Asia in Dhaka,” she informed.
The prime minister said that Bangladesh has launched the CVF “Midnight Survival Deadline for the Climate” initiative for all nations to deliver new and enhanced nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by midnight on 31st December 2020.