Climate Vulnerable Forum and the Commonwealth can work jointly to tackle climate change, she says
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Tuesday stressed the need for a political commitment by the global leaders to take urgent decisive action to save the planet from adverse climate change impact.
“There should be a political commitment of all the people in the world to save the planet. We can do it if we are committed,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen quoted the prime minister as saying during her Monday’s engagements at the Bangladesh Pavilion of the COP26 venue in Glasgow, Scotland.
The foreign minister on Tuesday briefed newsmen about the prime minister’s engagements.
Taking part in the COP26 summit, the prime minister stressed the need for coming forward by the global leaders to mitigate losses and damages caused by global warming and share the responsibilities of climate migrants.
Sheikh Hasina said all the countries should be committed to limiting their carbon emission to 1.5 degrees Celsius and submit their aggressive NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) that are urgently needed.
The prime minister also called upon the developed nations to fulfil their commitments of giving $100 billion annually on an urgent basis.
The premiere said countries like Bangladesh want to increase renewable energy for which “we want technology and finance and the major emitters should come forward to provide those to the developing nations.”
In this connection, she said, Bangladesh has prepared a Mujib Prosperity Plan and aggressive NDCs hoping that other countries should come forward to this end.
The foreign minister said that the prime minister earlier spoke in the “CVF-Commonwealth High-level Discussion on Climate Prosperity Partnership” and “Action and Solidarity in Critical Decade”.
Speaking at the CVF-Commonwealth high-level discussion, Sheikh Hasina proposed that the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Commonwealth can work jointly to face the climate change effect as they have a vast population with 1.6 billion people in the CVF and 2.4 billion in the Commonwealth.
As the chair of CVF and V20 (Vulnerable20), the prime minister stressed the need for coming forward by the global leaders to mitigate losses and damages caused by global warming alongside sharing the responsibilities of climate migrants.
In the event, a proposal was announced to introduce the “Commonwealth-Bangabandhu Business Enterprise and Innovation Award” for the young businesspeople of 54 countries to be delivered from the next conference, the foreign minister said.
Joining the “Action and Solidarity in Critical Decade” program, moderated by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the prime minister demanded a roadmap on how much money the developed nations will provide from their promised $100 billion annually and how much the major emitters will cut emission annually.
Talks with Bill Gates
During her talks with the founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates, Bill Gates, Foreign Minister Momen said that the prime minister highlighted the measures her government has taken on climate issues such as taking climate adaptation programmes and for the country’s overall development.
The prime minister also described how successfully Bangladesh worked to tackle the Covid-19 in partnership with others, Momen said.
He added that the premier also talked about turning Bangladesh into a digital one.
The prime minister said crores of money has been sent to the beneficiaries of various government programmes through digital systems through cell phones and telephones during the Covid-19 period taking the advantage of digitized Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina also stressed the need for conducting research on various fields including climate change, Momen said.
The foreign minister said that they have sought the partnership of Bill and Melinda Gates on climate, saying that a Regional Global Adaptation Centre has been set up in Dhaka which is now preparing a home or local based adaptation mechanisms.
“We seek their partnership in this regard,” he said, adding, “They are also giving some proposals. We are looking into it.”
Supplementing the foreign minister, the prime minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus said that Bill and Melinda Gates have long been working in Bangladesh’s agriculture and other sectors.
During the meeting, Bill Gates said they are inspired by the digitization and the agricultural development of Bangladesh and expressed their desire to work more in this end, added Momen.
Meeting with Prince Charles
At the directive of the prime minister, the foreign minister, said he held a meeting with the UK’s Prince Charles and representatives of the four banks, including the HSBC Bank.
At the meeting, Prince Charles was talking about incorporating the private sectors in the climate issues, he said.
“They want private sectors to be involved in the climate issues,” he added.
The foreign minister said that they have given some proposals to them that included seeking investment in the renewable energy sector, particularly in offshore wind energy and building embankments and roads along with the coastal belts and riversides.
“We want to set up offshore wind energy. You are invited to invest in it at a concessional rate,” he added.
In response, they said they are looking into the matter, the foreign minister said.
During the talks, the foreign minister said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken a bold decision to scrap 10 coal-based power plants involving 12 billion US dollars foreign investment and at the same time, a situation has been created to defy six such proposals as Bangladesh is concentrating on renewable energy in the sake of the environment.
“This is a big sacrifice,” Momen said, adding that they want to generate 4,100 additional megawatts of power from renewable energies.
“We said that you can help us in the project,” he added.
The foreign minister said Bangladesh has built embankments in the coastal belt long ago.
“But those (embankments) are very narrow. We want to make those wider and higher. We will plant mangrove trees after making the embankments wider as the mangrove trees usually can hold carbons for 22 years” he continued.
Bangladesh wants to build an oceanic road along the sea and rivers after widening the embankments, he said, adding: “You (investors) will get toll and thus make business. So, it will be a win-win situation.”
In reply, they said they will visit Bangladesh in the future and tell global businessmen about the opportunity of investing in Bangladesh cashing on the investment-friendly situation there, informed the foreign minister.
After holding meetings with the prime minister, all the dignitaries said that Bangladesh has been doing very excellent in terms of development and climate resilience under the dynamic leadership of Sheikh Hasina.
Momen said that they wanted to participate in the development process of Bangladesh.
COP26 seems successful
Asked whether the COP26 summit will be successful, the foreign minister said: “I have participated in many COPs. But, this time, I have seen a positive thing. Every leadership has boldly said that ‘we have to take decisive action just now not tomorrow’.”
He continued: “Good decisions have come. Canada has given a proposal on what they will do in terms of carbon emission.
“The UK has also given the same while the European Union has said they will do whatever necessary for mitigation.”
About getting the promised $100 billion annually from the developed nations for the developing countries, Momen said that some people are saying that $100 billion is not important while the important thing is to ensure the flow of money.
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, Deputy Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Habibun Nahar and PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim were present during the briefing.