For a Better Future

 

We must stress on adaptation as well as loss and damage

In Rio, we agreed on a shared dream – to have the “Future we want for all.”  

In recent years, Bangladesh has taken some key steps. For instance, we have installed 3.2 million solar home systems and provided over 1.5 million improved cookstoves across Bangladesh. We are also working on stress-tolerant crop varieties. 

By now, we have formulated the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan. Despite being a climate-vulnerable LDC, we allocated $385m of our funds, with our own resources, for adaptation and mitigation. (Many ecosystem-based, community-based adaptation measures have also been put in place.)

Yet, for millions of our people, climate change challenges their lives and livelihoods. We apprehend significant fall in wheat and major rice crop production. Rising intensity and frequency of flooding, storm surge, salinity intrusion, and the gradual changes as a result of climate change are affecting millions along our coast. Many of them are compelled to move out and even change traditional professions. Most of our development efforts and gains are at stake due to climate impacts.

If we are not ambitious about climate mitigation, adaptation costs will be much higher than is estimated today. Let me make a few specific points.

We must stress on adaptation as well as loss and damage. We would ask for maintaining the critical balance among adaptation and mitigation. Also, in regard to support for finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building, transparency of action and support.

Our respective “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” must be clear, measurable, and verifiable. Bangladesh is working towards its possible INDCs. We will need support for their implementation. “Carbon budgeting” and “de-carbonisation pathways” should also merit our greater attention.

In New York earlier, I said: “As a responsible member of the international community, Bangladesh will never exceed the average per capita emission of the developing world. It is our firm commitment to a low-carbon, climate-resilient development path. The large emitting countries should reciprocate such a voluntary commitment from a climate-vulnerable Bangladesh.”

For Bangladesh, adaptation is key. We cannot be left to adapt to degradation because of climate change. We expect robust commitments from most others – who can make changes – particularly the developed countries.

For us, private “climate finance” can only be complementary for mitigation. For adaptation planning and its implementation, adequate and predictable financing is must. There should be greater “fast-track finance” for adaptation, particularly for the climate-vulnerable countries. GCF would need to take those into account, particularly for the climate-vulnerable countries, like Bangladesh. Robust and early capitalisation of GCF is crucial for us.

Support to wider capacity building, is equally crucial. The same is true for technology. For LDCs, IPR must be facilitated. What Bangladesh asks for is access to life-saving technologies and support to developing adaptive technologies.

Bangladesh has learned much on the adaptation front. We are ready to share our modest experience on climate-resilience.

I thank you.

-- Sheikh Hasina Wazed