Bangladesh sees global recognition as big achievement from Copenhagen Climate summit

by Nian Yifeng, Naim-Ul-Karim
0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, December 26, 2009
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The Copenhagen summit comes as a boon for Bangladesh as the world community recognized its vulnerability to the man-made disasters, said chairperson of the South Asian country's All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change and Environment Friday.

Chairperson of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change Saber Hossain Chowdhury told Xinhua Friday in an exclusive interview, "The world realizes the dangers that faced Bangladesh."

"Copenhagen did not give us everything that we wanted but we've seen the summit as a beginning of a process rather than the culmination of a process," he said.

Chowdhury, who led an All Party Parliamentary Group to the summit as part of Bangladesh's official delegation, said the country is one of the most badly affected nations because for "us" climate change is not just a risk in future but it is a present day reality.

"I think what we were looking at the summit was first adaptation. Bangladesh wanted to have assurance of sufficient funding because if there is one meter rise in sea level that is going to displace about 30 million people permanently in the country," said the ruling party Bangladesh Awami League law maker.

He said if the Himalayan glaciers, water sources of Asia's biggest rivers, melt then it is going to cause flooding in the short term and shortage of water in the long term in Bangladesh, where the agriculture sector has already been affected because of the salinity inclusion.

"We wanted to see major commitment from the annex-1 (developed countries) because this problem has been caused by them. It's not our fault but we're the biggest victims," said Chowdhury, also a member of the country's Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Forests and Environment.

In terms of actual achievement in the summit, he said, "I think there is now recognition that the most vulnerable countries including least developed countries (LDCs) and small islands states and countries in Africa must receive fund."

"We would have preferred to have a legally binding agreement. I think that is what everybody was seeking, we don't have that but hopefully Copenhagen is a beginning because over the next one year there is a further meeting."

Chowdhury further said, "So hopefully Copenhagen has laid a foundation and we build on this foundation and have a legally binding agreement within the next 12 months. I think that is what we are hoping further."

He said the developed countries have to bear the responsibilities because it is their actions that have caused climate change. "So I think the developed countries have a bigger role and bigger responsibilities and they must share their responsibilities."

"If you go back to the history and look at the Kyoto protocol, the developed countries came together in Kyoto but then they failed. And now the developed countries are trying to make the developing countries also responsible," Chowdhury said.

"Any one who criticizes some body else should actually be first self critical and see what they were supposed to do," he said, adding it would be completely "unfair" if any parties try to blame China despite the country's tremendous efforts to make the summit' s success.

"I think the primary responsibility lies with the developed countries. Yes, there is also the case of China, India, Mexico, Brazil and south Africa but these countries have also the right to grow. So first responsibility, I think the primary responsibility, has to be with the developed world," Chowdhury said.

They (developed countries) have to set the example, he said, adding they should not try to shift their responsibility on the developing countries.

"Our position is that if the developed countries make available technology and finance then we can look at low carbon," Chowdhury said.

"We were very encouraged also by the actions of China because China has also said that it will be transparent for emission cut," he said.

"I think its very important that all the countries should work together. I think China has a major role to play because we look upon China as a role model of developing for Asia. China is leading the growth in Asia. We expect support, cooperation and understanding from China. China has to really speak for entire Asia."

"And this is a role that we want China to play. We should not do anything that is going to limit China's growth. Because if China grows, Asia as a whole will also grow. And Asia can share from the benefits of China's growth," Chowdhury continued.

He said, "Over the next one year it will be very important to make progress on the right directions because if we don't make progress then the games of Copenhagen will not be transferred to reality."

Chowdhury said there are many countries who make a lot of pledges, who speak a lot but don't act. "But I think China is acting more and talking less that is always very positive."

He said, "I visited the Chinese stall in the summit and there was a lot of information which was being shared. I think there was a lot of interest also because every one was keen to see what China is doing. It was a very good communications platform for China."

"I think it is important that China develops linkages with scientists, parliamentarian and civil society people of other countries so that they can share the initiatives of Chinese leadership to show with wider audiences."

He said China proved its sincerity to take action rather than talks. The way China approached in the summit shows the country's commitment to the world for lower temperature and less global warming.

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