Today, 24 June 2021, at 11:30 am, a Human Chain campaign was held in front of the National Press Club by Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD), Shariatpur Development Society (SDS), Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), Coast Foundation, Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN), and Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED).
Mr. Md. Shamsuddoha, Chief Executive of CPRD, was the keynote speaker in the campaign.
Besides, speeches were delivered by Mr. Kausar Rahman, President, Bangladesh Climate Journalist Forum, Mr. Mihir Bishwas, Joint Secretary, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Mr. Aminur Rasul, Chief Executive, Unnayandhara Trust, Mr. Nikhil Chandra Vadra, Senior Journalist, The Daily Kaler Kantho, Md. Akib Jabed, Senior Research Assistant, CPRD and a number of representatives from civil society. The event was moderated by Al Imran, Research and Advocacy Assistant, CPRD.
In the speech, Mr. Md. Shamsuddoha said, “Combating climate change and its impacts have become an undeniable challenge all over the world. Scientists have identified uncontrolled and inconsiderate human activities as the prime reason for this change in global climate. The average global temperature has so far increased by 1.1°C above its pre-industrial level. Considering the excessive emission of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon-di-oxide, from several human activities the main reason for causing climate change or global warming, a universal framework of the countries for tackling climate change, namely, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992. In this framework, countries were urged to cut their emission of carbon to keep global warming under control. But ironically, the member countries failed to implement their duties even after three decades of constituting UNFCCC. In spite of the developed countries’ confession on their being mainly responsible for causing climate change or global warming, they did not take any effective measures for a long time to control global warming. Even, they adopted no proper step to achieve their targets of carbon reduction in line with the Kyoto Protocol adopted in 1997.”
With regard to the achievements from the Conference of the Parties taken place so far, he pointed that, “Through the adoption of the Cancun Agreement in the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16) held in Cancun of Mexico in 2010, country parties came to a consensus on keeping the rise in global temperature below 2°C above the pre-industrial level. Based on that, in the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19), held in Warsaw of Poland in 2013, all the countries agreed on curtailing their carbon emission in accordance with their economic capacity and circumstances. In line with that, on the eve of the 21st Conference of the Parties, which took place in Paris of France in 2015, countries each submitted a report on their targets of reducing
carbon emission (which is called Nationally Determined Contributions or ‘NDC’) to the UNFCCC. But it has become conspicuous from many studies that it won’t be possible to keep global warming below 2°C above its pre-industrial level even if all the countries completely implement their emission reduction commitments placed in their NDCs. Rather, such levels of emission cuts may lead to a 3°C to 4°C rise in the global average temperature above the pre-industrial level by the year 2100, which will cause the globe to face the deadliest disaster ever. On this backdrop, UNFCCC prepared a guideline to ensure limiting the increase of global average temperature to 2°C above pre-industrial level and urged the member countries to submit enhanced targets to UNFCCC having reviewed their previous NDCs following this guideline. The reviewed NDC containing enhanced targets came to be known as ‘Enhanced NDC’.”
Drawing the attention of the audience, Mr. Shamsuddoha also mentioned that, IPCC’s special report on 1.5°C global warmings stressed three strategies for setting enhanced targets of emission reduction. Promoting the production and use of clean and renewable energy is the first one of those, as Mr. Shamsuddoha alluded. He added that “It has been established by many scientific reports that, one of the most effective ways to control global warming is disengaging from fossil-fuel-based economic activities as early as possible and meeting the enhanced fuel demand from renewable sources. To this end, developed countries, advanced developing countries, and the least developed countries must cease their fossil fuel-based development activities within the years 2030, 2040, and 2050 respectively. Simultaneously, multinational banks and other financial institutions must stop investing in fossil fuel-based projects. But it is a matter of great concern that, production and use of fossil fuels and investment therein haven’t yet abated around the world. Coal is the most carbon-emitting among all the fossil fuel items. Though the developed and the advanced developing countries have reduced their use of coal, they have kept their production on. Alongside, they are continuing their financing in establishing coal-fired power plant projects in underdeveloped countries.”
Against this backdrop, stressing the importance of clear and strong political commitments in ceasing the production and use of coal and other fossil fuels and investments therein, Mr. Shamsuddoha urged all to build a carbon-neutral world (with net-zero emission) by 2050 so as to ensure livable earth for the next generation.
Mr. Kausar Rahman said the climate finance under Green Climate Fund must be channeled to the under-developed and least developed countries on easy terms. He stressed on making the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan an umbrella plan so that all the development plans of the government are guided keeping a sharp eye on the climate concern.
Mihir Bishwas alluded that, besides the global initiatives taken so far, Bangladesh should also play its part to tackle the perils of global warming. The enhanced NDC project can be taken for an opportunity, and we should create an example by preparing a well-studied NDC, he added.
In his speech, Mr. Aminur Rasul pointed that, Bangladesh is under the highest risk of the hazards of climate change even though it contributes a very tiny portion of global carbon emission. He admonished that, failure in formulating a well-designed plan will place Bangladesh in a deep
crisis. So he demanded Bangladesh to make its development plans sustainable and environment friendly…
Mr. Nikhil Chandra Vadra highlighted that Bangladesh bears the greatest risk of climate change impacts. And the south-western region is the most affected region in the country. According to him, it is high time Bangladesh formulated a detailed development plan putting the limelight on the climate issue. He also invoked the global community to come forward with more robust measures in formulating Enhances NDCs.