Bangladesh – Honorable Prime Minister UNGA Event 2020
Climate Vulnerable Forum
Hon. Chair H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Climate Vulnerable Forum Leaders Event
October 7, 2020
YouTube Video of Speech
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
H.E. Mr. António Guterres, the UN Secretary General,
H.E. Ban Ki-Moon, Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation,
Heads of State and the Government of the CVF,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Assalamu Alaikum and a very good evening to you all.
Today we are at the most important crossroad of human history facing the gravest global challenges of our time. Adverse impacts of climate change are harming our civilization, destroying our planet and threatening our very existence. We, the CVF leaders and our partners, call everyone to take urgent and strong global actions to address climate emergency before the 2020 NDC Enhancement deadline.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Bangladesh is honoured to be chosen to lead the Climate Vulnerable Forum for the second time. The CVF represents over one billion people of the world’s most vulnerable countries. CVF countries suffer the most despite their insignificant contribution to the global carbon emission.
As president, our focus would be galvanizing support for the goal to keep the global temperature-increase up to 1.5 degrees, accelerating financing mechanisms and highlighting the narratives of climate resilience, and ‘loss and damage’ issue. We will also put emphasis on appointing a UN Special Rapporteur on Climate Change and creating a CVF and V20 Joint Multi-Donor Fund.
Bangladesh launched the South Asian regional office for Global Center of Adaptation in Dhaka on 8 September. It will act as the Secretariat for Bangladesh presidency and facilitate, support and develop appropriate actions in South Asia to enhance climate resiliency in the region.
According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index, 2019 of German Watch, Bangladesh is the seventh most affected countries of the world due to the adverse impacts of climate change.
My country is facing recurrent flooding this monsoon causing immense damage to crops and displacing huge people. The impact of super cyclone Amphan in last May along with current COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the situation. The 1.1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar given shelter at Cox’s Bazar are also causing serious social and environmental damages.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In Bangladesh, we have been implementing various mitigation and adaptation programmes to combat the climate-induced disasters. My government has so far allocated USD 430 million from its own resources under Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund since 2009. Millions of tree-saplings are being planted every year across the country. Our scientists have developed saline, flood and drought resistant crops and floating agriculture technology. My government has been spending on an average US$ 2 billion, 1 percent of the GDP, per year since 2010 for adaptation purposes.
This year, we are celebrating the birth centenary of the Father of our Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who recognized the threats of natural calamities and took initiatives to protect people.
We have decided to launch a program to develop national “Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan” to help mobilise resources for the implementation of a new pathway to secure our future.
I am happy that many other CVF countries are also managing climate change impacts efficiently. Costa Rica produces 100% renewable electricity for most of the year. In Ethiopia, 4 billion tree seedlings were planted last year and 20 billion will be planted by 2024.
However, despite individual efforts, the robust international partnership remains indispensable for the climate-vulnerable countries to minimize the profound loss and damage.
The world is at the edge of the cliff of surpassing the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Centigrade limit. This is a clear point of no return. And from the G20 countries which account for more than three-quarters of global emissions, we expect clear and definite NDC for effective reduction of their emission.
If the current trend of sea level rise is continuing, most of the island and coastal countries will go under water making millions of people climate refugees. The world does not have the capacity to shelter these refugees. Realizing this, Bangladesh parliament declared a “Planetary Emergency” and called on the world to work “on a war-footing’’ to stop climate change. Following COP 26’s postponement, the decisive hour now falls at midnight on December the 31st this year when we declare our extended NDCs. This is practically our “survival deadline’’.
On behalf of CVF, we launch today the CVF “Midnight Survival Deadline for the Climate” initiative to urge every leader of every nation to show leadership now. Convening alongside the UNGA, we also declare our call for an international day to be named “Climate Resilience Day” to secure our harmony with the Mother Earth.
We should also ensure that at least 100 billion US dollars a year are available to developing countries for mitigation, adaptation and disaster response and recovery. In the end, I would like to say:
- Strict implementation of the Paris Agreement is the only way to slow down the current rate of damage caused by climate change;
- The governments should not only honour their national contributions under the Paris Agreement, they also need to substantially increase their ambitions. The idea of climate justice must be established for the sake of climate and the planet.
- More vigorous provision of finance must be ensured by the major economies, MDBs, and IFIs along with access to technology;
- Take bold actions to address and mainstream the issue of loss and damage.
In our war against nature, we will only lose. All our actions manifest that we are consciously destroying the very support systems that are keeping us alive. So, the time to take action to save the planet is not tomorrow, but today.
Thank you all, again.