The organizations called on Bangladesh to make a difference in the participation of countries around the world
A group of national and international Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has called on the current chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum to lead the forum countries towards a carbon neutral economy by 2050.
The organizations including Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD) Climate Action Network South Asia-Bangladesh (CANSA), CAN South Asia, CAN International made this call in a virtual press event on Thursday.
The press event titled “Aligning Enhanced NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) to the Paris Goal: Bangladesh’s Leadership as the Chair of CVF (Climate Vulnerable Forum)” emphasized the dynamic leadership of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the chair of CVF.
The chair will lead 48 climate vulnerable countries of this forum in President Biden’s Climate Suga Summit in April and towards the 26th climate conference at the end of this year.
Md Shamsuddoha, chief executive of CPRD made the keynote presentation at the event.
Kauser Rahman, president, Bangladesh Climate Journalist Forum, Nikhil Chandra Bhadra senior reporter, Kalerkontho, Syed Jahangir Hasan Masum, executive director, CDP, Quamrul Islam Chowdhury, president, Forum of Environmental Journalists of Bangladesh, Dr Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed, director, Climate Change of PKSF and Rabeya Begum, chairperson, steering committee, CANSA-Bangladesh also spoke at the press event.
In the keynote presentation, Md Shamsuddoha emphasized the full implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, especially focusing on achieving its overarching goal of limiting global average temperature rise well below 2°C from the pre-industrial era.
He called on Bangladesh’s political leadership to undertake enhanced targets of carbon emission reduction under the NDC, and to also convince other countries to make their NDCs progressive and aligned with the Paris Agreement.
Md Shamsuddoha also presented a comprehensive analysis of the Paris Agreement’s goals.
Alongside carbon emission reduction, he also focused on the full implementation of other goals and articles of the Paris Agreement, which include resilience building, addressing loss and damages, and the fulfilling commitment from developed countries of annually providing US $100 billion to address climate change.
Md Shamsuddoha also highlighted the scope of establishing Bangladesh’s leadership in climate diplomacy.
Being the current chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), Bangladesh could play a critical role in taking a common position towards a carbon neutral economy and could also create pressure on other countries for faster response in carbon emission reduction.
Syed Jahangir Hasan Masum added that if Bangladesh wants to achieve the unconditional targets of the NDC, it is mandatory to incorporate people in the NDC process.
Quamrul Islam Chowdhury said: “We see NDC as a national document where a few relevant ministries have possibly been involved, but CSOs are yet to be incorporated in the process”.
He added that it is not acceptable both nationally and globally to keep CSOs outside the process while preparing a national document like NDC.
Bangladesh has already taken the lead in a few global platforms, and there is a high possibility of maintaining a commanding role in the upcoming days. If the enhanced NDC of Bangladesh is not well prepared, it will be tough to maintain a positive image towards the global community, he said.
In his speech, Kausar Rahman said Bangladesh has already demonstrated a pioneering role in combating climate change.
“We have to prepare NDC as a participatory document and we must follow the guidelines of UNFCCC. Since the inception of the Biden administration, the USA has been expressing its positive attitude towards climate change initiatives. Bangladesh may take the lead to pressure the carbon-emitting countries. All the climate change-affected countries including Bangladesh should take this opportunity,” he added.
Nikhil Bhadra expressed that the people working at the ground level, active researchers and the afflicted community bearing the brunt of climate change have not been involved in the NDC process. If these groups are not involved, it will not be possible to develop a participatory NDC.
Dr Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed said that high carbon-emitting nations have apathy in enhancing NDC. Many of them were seen to submit the previous version of NDC, it is a big concern.
He added: “Bangladesh is responsible for 0.003% of the global emission, and our country's national economic reality is quite lower than the high emitting countries. So, we have to simultaneously focus on the poverty alleviation, making the community resilient towards climate change and we have to keep pace with the global initiatives.”
Rabeya thanked all the press conference participants and expressed her gratitude to CPRD for initiating such an interactive event to ameliorate the final NDC document of Bangladesh.
Some recommendations at the event included ensuring participation of a broad range of stakeholders such as sectoral experts, CSOs, and private sector organizations, ensuring that the NDCs are aligned to other national plans and policies and vice versa and ensuring a formal discussion/vetting of the NDC in the national parliament, among others.