Let’s Not Forget Climate Crisis amid Geo-Political Tension: PM

File photo shows rickshaw pullers transporting customers along a flooded street following heavy rainfalls in Sylhet || AFP Photo: Collected

File photo shows rickshaw pullers transporting customers along a flooded street following heavy rainfalls in Sylhet || AFP Photo: Collected

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said that the world must not divert its attention from the looming climate crisis due to the ongoing geo-political tension, reports UNB.

“Despite the ongoing geo-political tension, we cannot allow the world to take away its attention from the looming climate crisis,” she said urging the developed countries to deliver on their commitments on financing and technology under the Paris Agreement.

The premier said this while delivering her speech virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban at a ceremony to mark the handing over of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) presidency from Bangladesh to Ghana.

Bangladesh, which took over as the president of the CVF for the second time in 2020, has managed to steer the Forum’s work through the Covid-19 pandemic, she said. 

“I believe our Presidency’s most important legacy will be to shift the narrative from climate vulnerability to resilience and prosperity, she added.

Prime minister said that under her leadership the CVF could achieve most of its objectives and more.

Welcoming Ghana as the new president, Hasina said she is confident that CVF leadership will be in steady hands under Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo’s watch. 

She said as a member of the Troika, Bangladesh will continue to extend all necessary cooperation to Ghana.

She mentioned that the CVF is now a significant presence in the international climate setting. It has emerged as the legitimate voice for countries most affected by climate change. The rise in CVF membership is a proof of that.

“From the outset, our Presidency remained focused on COP26 outcomes. Despite the pandemic, we held the world’s attention to the climate crisis,” she said.

She also said that the CVF also launched the Midnight Survival Deadline for countries to raise their climate ambitions. 

“We urged them to submit their NDCs by 31 December 2020. Some 70 nations responded to our call.”

She said that during Bangladesh’s presidency it created the CVF-V20 Joint Multi-Donor Fund to support members in their climate action. 

She mentioned that Bangladesh and Marshall Islands provided the seed funding. 

V20 Climate Vulnerables Finance Summit hosted by Bangladesh in 2021 pressed for a delivery plan for the 100 billion US dollar climate finance in the next five years.

“We got it realized in Glasgow,” she said.

Prime minister said that Dhaka-Glasgow Declaration is a summary of CVF’s core demands and commitments. 

“We renewed our call for high-emitting countries to keep the 1.5°C (Celsius) pledge alive and raise their climate ambitions annually,” she said. “We secured commitment for increased adaptation financing and international dialogue on loss and damage.”

She mentioned that five Thematic Ambassadors were appointed during Bangladesh’s term. 

“We have high hopes from the mandate-holder for climate change and human rights. We shall maintain our advocacy on displacement and migration caused by climate change,” said the premier.

Sheikh Hasina said that the CVF-V20 Parliamentary Group has a critical role to play in building public opinion for climate action.

She said Bangladesh is developing its “Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan” that can provide a template for other vulnerable countries in their own context. 

She also expressed her gratefulness to CVF and GCA Secretariats for their tireless work during Bangladesh’s presidency.

President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, Chair of the Global Centre on Adaptation Ban Ki-moon, Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Thematic Ambassador Saima Wazed and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration of Ghana Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Abdul Momen and Environment and Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin also spoke.

Special Envoy of the Climate Vulnerable Forum Presidency of Bangladesh Abul Kalam Azad presented the presidency report.      

A documentary also screened at the programme.

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