Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday called upon all the nations to meet their commitments to reducing carbon emissions and financing the initiatives of the climate vulnerable countries.
"I would like to call upon the nations to fulfill their pledges with regard to reducing carbon emissions and financing the initiatives of the climate vulnerable countries," she said.
The prime minister was addressing a side event hosted by the Global Commission on Adaptation at the Conference Room 7 in the UN Headquarters.
The premier said despite being a non-emitter and severely constrained in terms of resources and choices, Bangladesh is doing its best to bring a difference in the life of our people.
"Our commitment to partnership will usher in new and innovative measures addressing climate crisis," she said.
Thanking Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for organizing this meeting, Sheikh Hasina said: "We're at a crossroad facing the most serious global challenges of our time … impacts of climate change are increasingly harming our civilizations."
The prime minister further said, "It is an existential threat for climate vulnerable countries like Bangladesh."
Sheikh Hasina said the 5th Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change clearly states that adverse impacts of climate change will continue to intensify over the current century unless the world comes up with drastic actions to reduce or stop carbon emission.
"The recent Amazon forest fire and cyclone Dorian in Bahamas reminded the world how real and devastating climate change has already become," she said.
The prime minister said throughout 2018 and 2019, climate change wrecked havoc on people's health and livelihood around the globe.
"We're struggling on two fronts. First, mitigation measures to reduce and eventually reach zero emission in future. Second, adaptation measures in areas where extensive damage has been done," she said.
She continued: "Lives and livelihoods of millions of people would continue to be at risk unless we deliver on both these two fronts."
The prime minister said Bangladesh is happy to be a part of the establishment of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) which could help innovate adaption measures in beneficial ways and share the existing best practices.
"We're also happy to see the decision to announce establishment of GCA Dhaka Office. With our experience and commitment, GCA Bangladesh will be able to contribute substantially to our actions to deal with a changing climate," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said this office will be an important hub in the network of other GCA international offices, drawing from their examples of adaptation best practice. "July Dhaka meeting of the Commission has shown great potentials," she said.
The premier congratulated the Commission, the Co-Chairs and the Commissioners for launching the flagship report.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh, the largest delta in the world, is highly vulnerable to climate change and water related threats and challenges. "It's getting even more challenging for us in making the achieved growth sustainable in the face of extreme climate variability and environmental degradation," she said.
With the challenges and opportunities of the delta, the premier said, Bangladesh, with assistance from the Netherlands, has prepared Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.
"It's a long-term strategy, policy and commitment to implement actions for sustainable delta. It also plans to achieve long-term sustainable socioeconomic development by facing adverse impact of climate change through Adaptive Delta Management approach," she said.
Working closely with the stakeholders of Delta Plan 2100, GCA Bangladesh, she hoped, would work to harness international best practices and finance to ensure its successful implementation.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Md Shahab Uddin and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam were present at the event, among others.