H.E SABER CHOWDHURY – Introductory CVF Global Parliamentarians Meeting
Introductory Moderation Statement
H.E SABER CHOWDHURY – CVF Global Parliamentarians Meeting, MP, Honorary IPU President and Chair, Bangladesh Parliamentary Committee on the Environment, Forest and Climate Change
CVF Global Parliamentarians Meeting
“Parliamentarians of Climate Threatened Nations Championing Planetary Prosperity”
November 25, 2020
Now, let us move forward. We are pleased to be joined today by a very rich host of partners:
First, let me mention that we are joined today by the Secretary-General of the IPU, Martin Chungong. I think parliamentarians are already familiar with him, he’s a familiar face and I’ve also had the pleasure of working with him in the IPU.
Martin, we hope this first event is the start of a longer-term relationship between the IPU and the climate threatened nations cooperating under the CVF banner.
We will also be welcoming for a keynote statement, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, who has been the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations – a very successful Secretary-General if I may say – and it is during his term that the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 as we know, with the 2030 agenda starting off and he was an important architect in the process. And currently he is serving as the Chair of the Board of the Global Center on Adaptation. For those of you not familiar, the Global Center is a relatively young organization entirely dedicated to the challenge of adapting to climate change. The GCA is also hosting the CVF’s secretariat.
We are likewise very honored and privileged to be joined by two leading parliamentarians each with a very strong record of engagement and commitment in fighting climate change and tackling environmental issues with laws and parliamentary engagement in a broad spectrum of areas.
Former President Nasheed of the Maldives and currently Speaker of the People’s Majlis and Deputy Speaker of the Philippines, Loren Legarda, a long-time friend. You are both also Ambassadors of the CVF for Ambition and Parliaments, respectively.
We are also very pleased to be joined by Mami Mizutori who is the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction.
And as we all know, the two issues, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, are extremely linked.
I thank you, all our panelists, for joining us today.
This brings us to the focus of our session. We have a three-fold program for this webinar:
Firstly, we would like to explore what action parliaments and parliamentarians can take to support renewed climate ambition commitments of national governments during the remainder of this year. There are things we can do at home, and we can also reach out to our partners in parliaments across the world.
A year ago in Bangladesh, our National Parliament declared a “Planetary Emergency” on account of the existential threat that we face today and the closing window of opportunity to keep impacts at a manageable level. Critical to this is not surpassing 1.5 degrees Centigrade of warming. Though we now know global emissions need to be cut by 7% each year this decade if we are to keep our aspiration target of 1.5 degree within reach.
That is why the CVF launched the “Midnight Survival Deadline for the Climate” to call on all countries to meet their Paris Agreement commitments this year to say what more they will do – that is absolutely critical, because where we are today is not good enough, so raising the ambition is essential – to tackle this climate crisis. In Bangladesh, we are aiming to pass another motion that will:
1) Lend support to the national government to submit an enhanced updated NDC before midnight of 31 December this year.
2) Call on the parliaments of other nations to take similar action and to ensure parliaments are not made the excuse for missing a critical, once in 5 year deadline under the Paris Agreement.
3) To support the development of a national plan to achieve planetary prosperity through national development that is consistent with becoming climate resilient.
I will share both our resolutions with the meeting outcome of today, and would strongly encourage those parliaments present to consider similar actions.
Secondly, with the advent of Deputy Speaker Legarda’s appointment as CVF Ambassador for parliaments, we are exploring the possibility of launching a dedicated program, union or league of parliaments of climate threatened nations and the work we could do together to better tackle climate issues.
As many of us are well aware, parliaments have a very significant role to play in fighting climate change. I think some of you may have reviewed the concept note on what a CVF parliaments can do in the meeting documents that we have already circulated.
We outlined three key areas of work together:
1) We can share valuable experiences and good practices on legislative measures in support of ambitious and urgent climate action to safeguard communities and progress towards the CVF’s goals;
2) We can work collectively to secure greater commitments and to overcome barriers to climate action from political parties both within CVF member states and through international outreach;
3) We can work for a financing and regulatory environment to deliver the planetary “Planetary Prosperity” agenda of the CVF. We can promote action through policy de-risking measures such as by creating more efficient permit and approvals processes, updating codes, enabling financing agreements, and promoting expertise, skills and awareness.
So, there is really a lot that we can do and there is a huge potential for the engagement of parliaments in this very important agenda.
Thirdly, we would like to discuss the linkages between this climate agenda and the work we do as parliamentarians to build back and forward better. This is particularly relevant to the different public stimulus and response and recovery packages being dealt with by our parliaments in these days.
In touching on this topic, we need to express our heartfelt concern to member countries in Central America who have been devastated by hurricanes Enta and Iota. To the Philippines, who is recovering from multiple storms including Super Typhoon Goni, the Pacific who was hit earlier in the year by Cyclone Harold. And also Bangladesh, which was struck by Super Cyclone Amphan just as the COVID pandemic was worsening. These types of concurrent, climate-fueled crisis are a serious complication to efforts to deal with a public health crisis like today’s pandemic.
These important topics are going to be covered.
To start us off, we are going to show a short video from the CVF secretariat to introduce the CVF’s Midnight Survival Deadline for the Climate.
Please if we could show the video.
Good afternoon, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, It is a great honour to speak with you all at this parliamentary meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. In most meetings it is heads of states who garner the most attention but in actual fact to my mind it is the parliamentary representatives who do the hard work