Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has described the pledges made by the major economies to reduce carbon emission, which is responsible for global warming, as "outstanding."
"What we have learned from this summit is that countries like the USA are saying they will reduce their carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. It is not a small thing, because the two countries that emit the most carbon in the world are China and the USA," said Abdul Momen.
On 22 April (Thursday), Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina delivered a speech on the first day of the "Leaders Summit on Climate" organised by the USA with the participation of 40 heads of state and government.
"Japan said they would reduce carbon emission by 45% within 2030. Russia and China, two of the world's largest polluters, have also been vocal about the issue. Canada said those who emit carbon will pay a carbon tax of 170 per unit. This is not a trivial matter because it will make traders angry. Yet they have made that commitment," said Abdul Momen at a press conference organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday to brief about the prime minister's speech and various aspects of the conference.
"The European Commission has stated that it intends to reduce carbon emissions by 55% within 2030. Germany said it would become a zero emission country by 2030. Even Saudi Arabia has said it would reduce its carbon emissions by 50%," said the minister.
"As a result of America's initiative, it seems that we have a breakthrough in this dialogue and debate," he said.
Referring to Japan's promise to bring carbon emission by 45% within 2030, the minister said, "Yes, Japan has made investment in coal-based power plants in our country too, but our carbon emission is very low. We took a few coal-based projects, but we will reduce such projects in future. We have taken up a plan in this regard."
"We are looking forward to renewable energy. In her speech, the prime minister said the international agencies should provide easy loans in the renewable sector so that we can move towards green energy," said Momen.
Optimism about the completion of $100 billion Global Climate Fund
According to the Paris Agreement, the developed countries were supposed to contribute $100 billion per year to the Global Climate Fund (GCF) from 2020, which would have been spent by the countries affected by climate change.
Foreign Minister Abdul Momen said, "We are hopeful that the money will be collected before the COP26 (2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference), which is scheduled to be held in November this year. Yesterday (22 April) it seemed that the leaders of different countries were concerned about this issue."
"We always say that money is secondary. The most important thing is political commitment. This time, we got political commitment, especially from the USA. As a result, it should not be very difficult to get this $100 billion. The USA was supposed to pay $3 billion. They are yet to pay $2 billion, because Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement. They have committed to give the money this year. We believe that when the USA has come forward, others will come too," he said.
He further added that when John Kerry came to Dhaka, the prime minister raised the issue of GCF. At that time John Kerry said it was possible. He also said he had received some promises from the financial institution in this regard.
"John Kerry also said a private organisation in the USA wants to pay a $1 trillion dollar regarding climate change. But this is a part of investment in the renewable energy sector as well as in climate change. He said money is available but we have to work together to get that money," said the minister.
However, Momen said the entire $100 billion of the GCF will be a grant. Elaborating on the prime minister's remarks at the conference, Momen said, "Our prime minister strongly raised the issue of GCF. At the same time, she said, 50% of this $100 billion fund should be spent in mitigation (reducing climate change) and the other 50% should go to adapting to climate change.