Unlock Climate Finance, Stop Arms-Race: PM To Global Leaders

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina At Munich Security Conference 2024. Photo: Collected

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina At Munich Security Conference 2024. Photo: Collected

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, while placing six-point proposals, urged world leaders to unlock climate finance for the victim nations and end the arms-race to divert resources into climate fund.

"Senseless arms-race must be stopped and resources need to be diverted into mobilizing the much-needed fund for fighting climate change. Let's keep in mind, when the existence of humanity is at stake, pursuing narrow interests will come to nothing," she said.

She made the remarks in her recommendations, placed at the panel discussion, titled "From Pocket to Planet: Scaling Up Climate Finance" at the Munich Security Conference 2024 here today (Friday).

While placing her first proposal, Bangladesh Premier said, "We must find solutions to unlock climate financing to keep us on track by implementing the six suggestions."

She reiterated that developed countries must fulfill their commitment to provide $100 billion per year up to 2025, based on a delivery plan. "And, by the end of this year, we all must agree on a new climate financing target for post-2025, preferably above $100 billion, on the basis of scientific evidence," she said.

In her second proposal, Sheikh Hasina said the world needs to get rid of wars and conflicts, illegal occupations and mindless killings of unarmed civilians, especially women and children, which the globe is witnessing in Gaza and elsewhere.

The impacts of sanctions and counter-sanctions are also felt far away from the conflict zones, she said. In her third proposal, she said the acute imbalance in financing for mitigation and adaptation needs to be addressed by at least doubling the current adaptation finance.

To this end, she thanked French President Macron for committing to providing 1 billion Euros to Bangladesh to cope with the climate change impacts. Placing the 4th proposal, she said the long pending issue of streamlining access to existing international climate funds by developing countries must be resolved.

She said, "In the case of Bangladesh, we only have two eligible entities to get financing from the 'Green Climate Fund' while two more are in the process."  Placing her fifth proposal, Sheikh Hasina said the reform of the global financing architecture must show meaningful results, especially in managing the debt burden of climate-vulnerable countries by expanding their access to grants and concessional loans.

In the final and sixth recommendation, the Prime Minister said the governments need to invest in the appropriate plans, policies and instruments to mobilize private capital flows for climate action. Simultaneously, international financial institutions need to develop innovative and blended financing mechanisms to attract private capital for bankable projects.

"It is evident that the large climate financing gaps cannot be addressed without the participation of the effective private sector," she said. Sheikh Hasina said all recognise the need for substantially scaling up the current level of international climate financing for investments in mitigation and adaptation.

"Regrettably, the climate financing committed and available so far remains severely insufficient. This is further complicated by the absence of an internationally agreed definition of 'climate financing' and its accounting methods," she said.

The Premier said she was part of a closed-door meeting of leaders to find a last-minute solution at COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009 and realized that international climate finance would be quite difficult to come by.

After going back home, she took the initiative to set up the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund to undertake home-grown adaptation projects. "Bangladesh is now considered a living laboratory of locally-led climate adaptation," she said.

She went on saying that Bangladesh has so far implemented nearly 800 projects at a cost of $480 million, all from its own resources. "This is, however, still inadequate compared to the $7-8 billion that we require every year to implement our National Adaptation Plan," she added.

To put things in perspective, the current financing need for mitigation as per all the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) is estimated at nearly $6 trillion up to 2030, she said.

For adaptation, she said, it is $215-387 billion per annum until 2030. It is obvious that the widening financing gap is further aggravating the global climate crisis. Sheikh Hasina said the COP28 in Dubai started on a positive note with the operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund.

"We are pleased that $792 million was committed to the Fund. We hope that additional pledges will be made to allow the Fund to deliver on its mandate," she said.

The Governing Board of the Loss and Damage Fund has now been formed with full responsibility for funding decisions, she said.

She stressed the need for the Fund to be operated and guided by the principles of the Paris Agreement.

"The Fund must remain new and additional, beyond ODA and other types of climate finance. It is critical that the Loss and Damage Fund does not divert much-needed resources for climate adaptation," she said.

She said the next task for the Fund is to start releasing the money for viable projects. The Fund should reach those that need its support the most.

"The disbursement procedure should be made simple and flexible. We hope that the Fund's governing board will give due attention to the views of the LDC and SIDS representatives," she continued.

The Premier continued: "I would certainly like to see Bangladesh as one of the first recipients of the Loss and Damage Fund."

About Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said her country ranks seventh among the world's most climate vulnerable countries even though its (Bangladesh's) contribution to global carbon emission is negligible (less than 0.47% of global emission).

"It is estimated that from now up to 2050, our annual GDP loss will be 2% because of climate change, and at this rate by 2100, the loss will be as high as 9%. It is also estimated that about 13.3 million people of Bangladesh could be internally displaced due to climate change impacts," she said.

Now Bangladesh spends about 4.6 percent of annual budget and 0.74 percent of GDP on climate adaptation and resilience, where 75 percent comes from domestic resources, the Premier said.


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