Bangladesh to claim 15 pct of global fund for climate ills

by Naim-Ul-Karim
0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, December 8, 2009
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The Bangladeshi government will claim at least 15 percent of the global fund for climate ills per year, the South Asian country's State Minister for Environment said Tuesday, with a plea for per capita-based allocation of the adaptation aid.

"We'll claim at least 15 percent of the climate adaptation fund per year for Bangladesh's 150 million people which is around 15 percent of the world's around 1 billion climate victims," Hasan Mahmud, State Minister for Environment and Forests, told reporters at a press conference Tuesday.

He said the country and its people have already been the worst victims of the global climate change, which is further posing serious threats to lives and their livelihoods.

Mentioning the consequences of the cyclonic storms SIDR followed by two consecutive floods in 2007 and Aila in May 2009 which battered Bangladesh's coastal areas, Mahmud said several million people of the country have already been displaced from their homes due to the climate change shocks with no fault of their own.

In 2008, according to a paper distributed among journalists at the press conference, developed countries emitted more than 18 billion tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide. Out of this, it said the United States, Japan, EU and Russia together emitted 14 billion tons.

The paper also said developing countries emitted more than 11 billion tons and Bangladesh's share is only 0.2 percent at most of global total.

Mahmud said Bangladesh has agreed with the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) position of 45 percent reduction by 2020, peaking emission by 2015 and lowering the same by at least 80 percent by 2050.

All these are expected to achieve the goal of reaching concentration of GHGs in atmosphere of no more than 350 ppm (parts per million) and keeping the temperature rise to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, he said.

Due to rise in sea level, Mahmud said, at least 19-20 percent of Bangladesh's lands would go under water by 2050 which is to make over 20 million people of the country climate change refugees.

Replying to a question, he said, "We're not in a position to rehabilitate climate victims in other parts of the country. We'll request in the conference to consider those people who are victims of the climate change as refugees and allow them to be migrated to other country."

Meanwhile, Secretary of Bangladesh's Ministry of Environment and Forests Mihir Kanti Majumder said, "We don't want lose our own identity. We'll continue our all-out efforts to save the country and its people from the wrath of climate change."

Regarding the climate fund, the paper said Bangladesh through the LDCs has made the point that there will have to be legally binding adaptation framework and the resources to be committed will have to be no less than 1.5 percent of the GDPs of the developed countries because they have a historical responsibility.

"We'll call for formation of a separate body instead of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for handling the climate change adaptation fund," Bangladeshi State Minister Mahmud said.

He did not explain why they don't want to see involvement of the WB and the IMF with distribution process of the global change adaptation fund.

Mahmud said, "We'll also ask for formation of another body to help the LDCs like Bangladesh and the Maldives get latest technologies which are also important to mitigate the impacts of the climate change."

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Monday also made a plea to scientists and experts to come up with cutting-edge technologies for supporting people of the South Asian country, where climate change represents one of the greatest threats to lives and their livelihoods.

In this connection, local expert Kazi Khaliquzzamna, who also spoke at the press conference, said the continued global warming and climate changes will virtually affect Bangladesh's food, energy and water security and livelihood alarmingly.

He said there is an urgent need for transfer of technology.

"Neither adaptation nor the mitigation may be substantially sealed up unless these are backed by technology which would require technology transfer and development," said the paper.

Local experts said plight of millions of people in Bangladesh, world's largest delta country, mount even from a trifling hit of natural calamities augmented by global climate change due to the country's feeble resilience capacity.

They said the low-lying country bordering the Bay of Bengal has become more vulnerable in recent time to climate change related problems like cyclones, flooding, reduced fresh water availability and sea level rise.

To deal with the impacts of climate change, Bangladesh had earlier this month hinted that it will seek around 700 billion taka (about US$10 billion) from the international community at the Copenhagen conference.

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