Bangladesh optimistic about US$100 billion annual global climate fund: Foreign Minister Momen

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Bangladesh is optimistic regarding the formation of US$ 100 billion global climate fund for every year as world leaders showed strong ‘political commitment’ at “Leaders’ Summit on Climate” amid the US’s rejoining in the Paris Agreement.

“We are optimistic … to see a strong political commitment from the US (regarding $US100 climate fund),” foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said today (23 April 2021) at a press briefing to reveal outcomes of the summit, attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with some 40 heads of state or government virtually on Thursday.

As part of the Paris Agreement pledge, there was a provision of raising $100b per year from 2020 onwards to help the vulnerable countries tackle climate change through mitigation and adaptation but so far, the pledge has failed.

However, Dr Momen said, political commitment is always important to keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 degree Celsius.

“Funding is secondary … most important is political commitment. If there is political commitment, funding won’t be a problem,” he said.

Momen termed the Leaders’ Summit on Climate, hosted by US president Joe Biden as a ‘breakthrough’ as global leaders showed their commitment to protect the planet from the adverse impact of climate change.

The summit is being seen as a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in November this year in Glasgow, he said.

Sheikh Hasina joined the summit as John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, handed over an invitation letter of president Biden to the Bangladesh premier in Dhaka on April 9 to participate in the global leaders’ meet.

In her speech Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the developed countries to formulate an action plan to cut their carbon emissions as well as ensure US$100 billion annual climate fund as she placed a four-point proposal at a high-level global climate summit.

The foreign minister said, in her first proposal, the Bangladesh premier said immediate and ambitious action plan should be taken by developed countries to reduce their carbon emissions to keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 degree Celsius and the developing nations should also focus on mitigation measures.

Sheikh Hasina, secondly, suggested ensuring the annual target of 100 billion US dollars which should be balanced 50:50 between adaptation and mitigation with special attention to the vulnerable communities while pursuing “Loss and Damage”.

“Major economies, international financial institutions and private sectors should come forward for concessional climate financing as well as innovation,” she said in her third proposal.

In the fourth proposal, the prime minister said the focus is needed on green economy and carbon-neutral technologies with the provision of technology transfer among nations.

She pointed out that as the Chair of the CVF and V20 (The Vulnerable Twenty), Bangladesh’s key focus is to uphold the interests of the climate-vulnerable countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are among the global leaders who addressed the summit.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry also joined it.

The summit underscored the urgent need for the world’s major economies to strengthen their climate ambition by the time of COP26 and provided an opportunity for leaders to announce new steps to strengthen climate ambition.

The US recognized Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership of vulnerable countries to reduce impact of climate change during the Summit.

As the chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers, Bangladesh plays a vital role in international efforts to combat climate change and adapt and build resilience to climate hazards, an US Embassy statement said after Kerry’s visit.

President Biden took action on his first day in office to return the USA to the Paris Agreement.

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