Hasina calls for global climate plan with $100bn in annual fund

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The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded all that any global crisis can only be addressed through a strong collective response, says the premier

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday put forward four suggestions to global leaders to fight climate change challenges with a strong collective response.

The premier made the suggestions in her prerecorded video message screened in the opening session of the two-day “Leaders’ Summit on Climate” hosted by US President Joe Biden.

Joe Biden invited 40 world leaders, including Sheikh Hasina, to join the virtual Summit to galvanize efforts by major economies to tackle the climate crisis.

Sheikh Hasina’s suggestions include – announcing an immediate and ambitious action plan by developed countries to reduce their carbon emissions to keep the global temperature at 1.5°C with focus on mitigation measures; and ensuring the annual target of $100 billion which should be balanced 50:50 between adaptation and mitigation with special attention while pursuing losses and damages.

The other two suggestions are, major economies, international financial institutions, and private sectors should come forward with plans for concessional climate financing as well as innovation and focusing on green economy and carbon-neutral technologies with a provision of technology transfer among nations.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us that any global crisis can only be addressed through a strong collective response,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina thanked US President Biden for convening the summit and inviting her to speak at this gathering saying that Bangladesh deeply appreciates the US’s return to the Paris Climate Agreement and is keen to engage with the international community.

“Despite being a climate-vulnerable country with resource constraints, Bangladesh has emerged as a global leader on adaptation and mitigation,” she said.

The prime minister mentioned that every year Bangladesh is spending about $5 billion, about 2.5% of the GDP, on climate adaptation and resilience-building measures.
“The 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar whom we’ve sheltered worsened our vulnerabilities,” she added.

The prime minister said Bangladesh is pursuing a low-carbon development path. “To raise its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and adaptation ambition, it has included new sectors in addition to the existing energy, industry, and transport sectors in the mitigation process. We’re planning to submit a quantified ambitious NDC by June 2021,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh is observing “Mujib Year,” marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“We’re planting 30 million saplings nationwide and adopting the ‘Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan’ to achieve low-carbon economic growth,” she furthered.

As the chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and V20, Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh’s key focus is on upholding the interests of the climate-vulnerable countries, she added

The prime minister said Bangladesh is hosting the South Asian regional office of the Global Centre on Adaptation which is promoting locally-led adaptation solutions.

US President Biden and Vice President Harris opened the inaugural session of the summit.

The opening session titled “Raising Our Climate Ambition” underscored the urgent need for the world’s major economies to strengthen their climate ambition by the time of COP 26 to keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C within reach.

The UN Secretary General António Guterres, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, among other world leaders, spoke at the virtual summit.

The Leaders’ Summit on Climate would be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow.

President Biden took action on his first day in office to return the US to the Paris Agreement as days later, on January 27, he announced that he would soon convene a leaders’ summit to galvanize efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis.

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