Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the world community should recognize people’s vulnerability, common aspirations, need for technology transfer and additional funding to tackle the impacts of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The international community and the developed countries should play their historical responsibilities and, their moral and legal obligations,” she said.
The Premier made this remark while opening the First Climate Vulnerable Finance Summit, joining virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban as she is the President of Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).
Bangladesh hosted this Summit organized by Finance Ministers of the Vulnerable Twenty–the V20 with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the chair.
The Prime Minister said 48 countries under CVF-V20 account for only five percent of the total global emission, but they are the worst victims of the man-made crisis.
In addition, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has added new miseries claiming lives and affecting livelihoods of millions, she said.
She continued “At this critical juncture of human history, we must forge unity and extend cooperation to face the ongoing and future crises.”
In the Summit, the Prime Minister put forward five-point proposals, where she firstly pointed out that every country must pursue an ambitious target to curb greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperature-rise below 1.5ºC.
In the second proposal, she said the developed nations should facilitate the green recovery of the CVF-V20 countries and, dedicated support is also required for reducing the cost of capital and encouraging private sector participation.
Thirdly, flow of funds must be predictable, balanced, innovative and incremental, she said, adding development partners and international financial institutions should adopt a user-friendly process of fund allocation and disbursement, and there must be synergies amongst various climate funds.
Rich nations must help the CVF-V20 countries by closing the existing financial gaps in protecting climate-induced disasters, mentioned Sheikh Hasina in her fourth proposal, adding, financial support is needed to introduce smart insurance premium subsidies and capitalization of insurance products for CVF countries.
Finally, she said, every vulnerable country may actively consider adopting a “climate prosperity plan” like our “Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan”.
“I request the international community to provide all out support to realize our plans,” she said.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh is preparing the National Adaptation Plan and about to finalize the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
“In a bid to raise green coverage, we are planning around 30 million saplings across the country this year marking the birth centenary of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” she added.
She went on saying her government has also prepared “Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100” with the vision of achieving a safe, climate resilient and prosperous Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that Bangladesh is one of the founding donors of the new CVF and V20 Joint Multi-Donor Fund under the United Nations.
She said Bangladesh’s National Parliament declared a “Planetary Emergency” and called everyone to work “on a war footing” to stop climate change. “We expect similar actions from the rest of the global leaders”, she added.
The Premier said Bangladesh is implementing the world’s largest climate refugee rehabilitation project named “Khurushkul Special Shelter Project” rehabilitating 4,409 families at 139-multi-storey buildings.
She said the CVF initiated a new Climate prosperity program to move from climate vulnerability to climate resilience and then turn climate resilience into climate prosperity. “As the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, I am delighted to declare “Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan – Decade 2030” in honor of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation,” she said.
Bangladesh Prime Minister also called upon the developed countries to reduce their carbon emissions drastically, and the delivery of the agreed $100 billion per annum as climate finance.
Mentioning that the planet Earth is in a dire state threatening existence, she said “We must be sensible in our actions and let us work together to build a strong climate resilience world.”
She also urged the finance ministers, development partners, international financial institutions, and multi-lateral development banks to find innovative financing solutions for climate prosperity.
According to the Climate Risk Index 2020, Bangladesh is ranked 7 amongst the worst victims of climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic and, prolonged floods and the Super Cyclone Amphan in 2020 took a heavy toll on the lives and livelihoods of millions in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is a global leader in disaster management and locally-led adaptation and mitigation measures. It is also hosting the South Asia Regional Office of Global Center on Adaptation.
The Prime Minister said every year Bangladesh spends around US$ 5 billion, around 2.5 percent of its GDP, on climate change adaptation and resilience building.
During the current pandemic, she said, her government has launched 23 recovery packages worth over US$ 15 billion, approximately 4.2 percent of GDP.
UN Secretary General António Guterres, Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, Acting President of the Marshall Islands Christopher Loeak, Chair of the Global Centre on Adaptation Ban Ki-Moon, US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry, President of World Bank Group David Malpass, President of Asian Development Bank (ADB) Masatsugu Asakawa and President of European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer, among other, spoke at the opening session of the virtual summit hosted by Bangladesh.
Finance Ministers of the V20 countries, and representatives from the G7 and G20 countries, Heads of IFIs and MDBs and Partners attended the summit.