- Economists and environmentalists suggested Bangladesh to focus on:
- Ensuring that major carbon emitting countries meet their commitments to limit carbon emission
- Scaling up climate fund urgently to support climate vulnerable countries
- Ensuring the bigger share of climate fund towards adaptation
- Finalising the Paris Rulebook to ensure the accountability
- Establishing the mechanism for mitigating loss and damage.
At the upcoming COP-26 climate change summit, Bangladesh should focus on scaling up finances to tackle the impacts of climate change, said economists and environmental experts.
"In order to make clean energy available and affordable for the poor people, vulnerable countries like Bangladesh have to ensure investment in renewable energy and energy infrastructures," said Dr Fahmida Khatun, executive director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), in a virtual dialogue titled "Bangladesh's Expectations from COP26" on Sunday.
"However, the developed countries could not deliver on their pledges to raise $100 billion per year for this purpose," said Dr Fahmida, the keynote speaker at the programme.
"Accessibility of climate fund has been a challenging task for Bangladesh since a considerable amount is in the form of loans and non-concessional instruments," said the CPD executive director.
International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) Director Dr Saleemul Huq, a panelist at the discussion, also put emphasis on the collective responsibility to tackle climate change.
Regarding the $100 billion commitment for climate finance, he said, "The current demand for finance is at least $500 billion in five years. We should work beyond the COP-26 platform in this regard."
The CPD and the ICCCAD jointly organised the dialogue to highlight Bangladesh and other climate vulnerable countries' agendas in the upcoming COP-26.
Among these agendas, the five most important ones are – ensuring that major carbon emitting countries meet their commitments to limit carbon emission, scaling up climate fund urgently to support climate vulnerable countries, ensuring the bigger share of climate fund towards adaptation, finalising the Paris Rulebook to ensure the accountability and establishing the mechanism for mitigating loss and damage.
The COP-26 will be held from 31 October to 12 November, 2021 at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow.
At the summit, nations will determine the necessary actions needed to enable and encourage countries affected by climate change to protect and restore ecosystems and develop preventive schemes.
Recently, some countries have committed to increase their contribution to the climate fund. The UK is going to double their climate finance with 11.6 billion euro, while the US has also committed to increase their contribution to climate finance.
CPD Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan, who chaired yesterday's programme, said there are some asymmetry between individual responses and wider externality of the global system regarding the issue of climate change.
"Bangladesh should focus more on its own individual strategies and fulfilling the commitments to achieve the goals at the national level. That would automatically help the country achieve the global commitments as well," said Dr Rehman Sobhan.
He further said it is necessary to make the conferences and discussions more inclusive and the vulnerable groups who are worst affected by the climate change must be integrated into the climate-related development priorities.
At the discussion, Dr Rubana Huq, former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, emphasised the need for the collaboration among all stakeholders to tackle the climate change.
She also called for more strategic actions from the private sector for renewable energy use.
In Bangladesh, annual average temperatures increased by 0.64% in 2018, which was 10.20 times faster than the annual average temperature increase of 0.06% in 1961. Due to flood, Bangladesh is expected to incur losses equivalent to 1.5% of its gross domestic product (GDP), said the International Centre for Climate Change and Development.
Md Abul Kalam Azad, special envoy of Climate Vulnerable Forum Presidency of Bangladesh, Charles Whiteley, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, Judith Herbertson, development director of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in Bangladesh, also spoke, while Khushi Kabir, coordinator of Nijera Kori moderated the session.
Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director at CPD, and Professor Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow at CPD, also took part in the open discussion