Putting Nature at Heart Dhaka, London hopeful of signing climate accord before COP26

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COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma meets Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban on June 2, 2021. Photo: Collected

Bangladesh and the United Kingdom are planning to sign a "climate accord" before COP26 and expressed optimism for a successful outcome of the COP26 with a possible CVF-COP26 event at Glasgow.

The two countries agreed to work together to put nature at the heart of their climate action, building on the 2020 Leaders’ Pledge for Nature and realising shared commitments towards conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as those under the Global Ocean Alliance and the Commonwealth Blue Charter.

As founding members of the Adaptation Action Coalition, Bangladesh and the UK renewed their commitment to work together with other Coalition members to accelerate adaptation on the ground with a particular emphasis on promoting locally led climate action.

The two countries will do more to avert, minimise, and address Loss and Damage, said the joint statement on climate action between the two countries.

Bangladesh and the UK will work together to get the network operating, following the UK-led Climate and Development Ministerial and drawing on the expertise in the UK, Bangladesh and internationally.

 

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on June 2 during the visit to Bangladesh on June 2-4.

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during their meeting, said Bangladesh expects the UK to promote the interests and priorities of climate vulnerable countries to international platforms.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is going to be the worst affected like some other countries across the globe due to the climate change even though the carbon emission of these countries are very negligible. “We’ll be affected massively,” she said.

She said the government has taken various programmes to increase the renewable energy use in mitigating the demand for power. There are currently some 5.8 million solar power connections in Bangladesh.

The Prime Minister said her government and the Awami League as a party are engaged in massive tree plantation to improve the environment of the country.

Talking about the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccination, the Prime Minister said the government has adopted various measures to run the economy apart from containing the coronavirus infection although Bangladesh is a densely populated country.

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma has invited the Prime Minister to attend the  COP-26 to be held in November next in Glasgow.

Alok Sharma hoped that Bangladesh under the leadership of the Prime Minister will play an important role as the current president of Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).

Clean Energy Transition

Appreciating Bangladesh’s adaptation and resilience, Alok Sharma pledged to help Bangladesh having a “clean energy transition”.

“We can work together to make sure that it is not just the public finance but also private finance that is coming into Bangladesh,” he told reporters in a joint media briefing at Foreign Service Academy.

Responding to a question, Sharma said he discussed the coal power issue during his meeting with Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen noting that he raised the issue not just in Bangladesh but around the world.

He laid emphasis on alternative sources of energy – clean energy – if the dependency on coal power is cut globally.

To supplement, Foreign Minister Dr Momen said they are scaling down some of the coal power industries as part of reducing dependency on coal power.

“We planned to have around 40 percent renewable energy by 2041. We’ll be looking for more renewable energy and we’re asking for technology to support renewable energy,” he said.

Bangladesh is among the fast growing economies with significant renewable energy potential, said the UK government.

Responding to a question on US$ 100 billion climate fund for developing countries, Sharma said the donor and developed countries need to step up noting that it is a matter of trust and it is very important they deliver on it.

He appreciated Bangladesh’s leadership in terms of adaptation and resilience saying they saw a very limited damage during recent cyclones due to Bangladesh’s works done to that front.

Sharma expressed satisfaction over private sector’s interest towards clean energy transition but they want long-term policy and clear regulations from all governments around the world

On the Sundarbans, he said they want to see further protection given to areas such as mangroves.

Dr Momen said they want to save the planet. “We’re capable of doing it if there’s strong partnership and collaboration.”

During his engagements in Dhaka, Sharma discussed shared priorities with Bangladesh which remains a "crucial" partner on the road to COP26.

He discussed the needs of countries most vulnerable to climate change, to ensure they are equipped to deal with its current and damaging effects ahead of COP26.

Sharma and Dr Momen jointly reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing cooperation between Bangladesh and the United Kingdom in tackling climate change’s causes and adverse effects.

They agreed to demonstrate sustained leadership to tackle the climate emergency bilaterally and globally.

The two countries agreed to exchange expertise, share technology, facilitate partnerships, and identify practical solutions to common climate challenges.

Working Together

They expressed their resolve to work together to contribute to ensuring all countries meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement, and improve the resilience of those most vulnerable to climate change.

The two countries reaffirmed their strong and steadfast commitment to strengthening implementation of UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.

They recognized the urgent need to make ambitious and accelerated efforts to limit average temperature rises to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, strengthen adaptation to the impacts of climate change, and scale up finance and support towards these ends.

They called for increased climate action in the lead up to the COP26 Summit, which will be held in Glasgow in November keeping in consideration the development needs of individual countries.

They highlighted their commitment to achieving an ambitious outcome at COP26, including through finalising the outstanding mandates of the Paris Rulebook.

The COP26 President-Designate underlined the importance of countries committing to achieving Net Zero emissions by the middle of the century, and for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to be aligned with this.

The COP26 President-Designate welcomed the prospect of Bangladesh transitioning away from coal to clean and renewable energy, which will create economic growth and sustainable jobs.

The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh underscored the necessity of securing commitments from global leaders, especially the G20, to curb global emissions substantially, arrest global temperature at 1.5 degrees, secure maximal climate finance especially for adaptation and concrete actions on low-carbon technology transfer.

Bangladesh is committed to submitting an ambitious updated NDC in coming weeks, with a Net Zero target in the near future.

The UK COP26 Presidency and Bangladesh recognise the importance of developed countries delivering their collective climate finance goal to jointly mobilise US$100 billion annually by 2020 through to 2025 from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral and in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, to address the needs of developing countries.

COP26 President-Designate welcomed Bangladesh’s proactive leadership as the President of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and voicing the existential threats and extreme climate risks faced by 48 of the most climate vulnerable countries.

He welcomed Bangladesh’s Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan and Decade 2030 for capturing growth and prosperity through maximal resilience.

The Foreign Minister commended the UK’s dynamic leadership of COP26 and their special focus on mitigation, adaptation and resilience, climate financing and international cooperation. He also praised the UK for being the first major economy to declare Net Zero emissions by 2050.

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  • Dhaka, London hopeful of signing climate accord before COP26
  • Putting Nature at Heart
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