CVF Chair Statement at the Thimphu Ambition Summit
Stormy clouds gathering over Dhaka, Bangladesh. Image copyright: Aastha rahman, CC BY-SA 4.0
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
H.E. Dr. Lotay Tshering,
H.E. António Guterres,
H.E. Alok Sharma,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Assalamu Alaikum and good evening.
I thank the Royal Government of Bhutan, the Chair of the LDC Group in the UNFCCC, for organizing this ambition summit on the occasion of 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement to create momentum for a 1.5-degree Celsius world. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how quickly a pandemic can turn into a catastrophic global crisis, and it has also taught us that the only way to combat a global crisis is through strong collective response.
During COP-21 in Paris, we have agreed to a landmark Agreement to combat climate change and achieve climate resilience. Our target was to keep the global temperature rise within 1.5 degree Celsius. However, we must admit that our current efforts to achieve that target are highly inadequate. As such, we need forceful, dynamic and rapid action plan to limit the global greenhouse gas emission to save us and our planet.
South Asia is the most vulnerable region to climate-induced natural disasters. Millions of people will become climate refugees in coastal and small island countries if sea level rises by a meter. Glacial Lake Outbursts, cloud outbursts or heavy rains will bring catastrophic impacts on Himalayan countries like Bhutan, Nepal and parts of India.
Though Bangladesh has no contribution in global warming, it is one of the most vulnerable countries for its limited coping capacities and specific geographical features.
As per ADB’s prediction, Bangladesh would face annual economic cost equivalent to 2% of her GDP by 2050 and up to 9.4% by 2100 if current emissions continue. I am sure that it is true for all other LDCs and climate vulnerable countries.
However, we have taken excellent adaptation and mitigation activities to enhance our climate resilience. This year we are planting 11.5 million trees across the nation marking the ‘Mujib Borsho’, the birth centenary of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. We have also launched ‘Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan’ to mobilize resources for a secured future.
Bangladesh has been honoured to be chosen to lead the Climate Vulnerable Forum for the second term. We have established the regional office of Global Centre on Adaptation for South Asia in Dhaka. We have launched the CVF “Midnight Survival Deadline for the Climate” initiative for all nations to deliver new and enhanced NDCs by midnight on 31st December 2020.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would also like to flag that the Paris Agreement reaffirmed the obligations of the developed countries for mobilizing climate finance. MDBs, IFIs should come forward for more vigorous provision of climate financing through concessional finance and debt relief and ensure the access to technology for all. Moreover, extreme weather events are already displacing many more people than violent conflicts.
Therefore, the ‘loss and damage’ provision should be mainstreamed. Likewise, relocation and protection of displaced persons need due focus in global discourses to ensure their protection.
I would like to underscore the significance of positive and robust international climate coalitions that can reduce the global carbon emission effectively to move towards carbon neutrality before the mid-century. So, I called for your urgent and decisive action to save our future generations. UNFCCC remains the most appropriate platform to push forward our global agenda.
Thank you all.
I would like to summarize a few key points that emerged from the discussion. Firstly, we do have options and we do have a role to play in terms of parliamentary action even during the remainder of this year. Martin pointed out that it’s only weeks to go, but as we see every day, even a week is a long time in politics, so let’s make use of the time that we have in hand.
Mr. Saber Chowdhury, Honorary President Inter-Parliamentary Union Chair, Bangladesh Parliamentary Standing Committee on MoEFCC Mr. Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker Maldives People’s Majlis CVF Thematic Ambassador for Ambition Ms. Loren Legarda, Deputy Speaker Philippines CVF Thematic Ambassador for Parliaments Ladies and gentlemen participating from countries, international organizations and personalities interested in climate issues,
Excellencies, Honorable participants, Ladies and Gentlemen. It is an honor for me to represent the Royal Government of Bhutan in the Global Parliamentarians Meeting, organized by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) in collaboration with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA).