Activists representing seven countries participated in the event
Transgender people and supporters representing seven countries, including Bangladesh, organized a transgender rally for a 'Safe Climate' at the Abahani club grounds in the capital's Dhanmondi on Tuesday.
Amid much enthusiasm, participants underlined the urgency of raising awareness about the adverse impacts of climate change and the need for rapid global action to stop carbon (Co2) emissions.
Throughout the world, people are experiencing rising temperatures, recurring floods, droughts, wildfires, melting glaciers, increasing conflicts, and ever more refugees.
These problems, however, are only the beginning of the damage and devastation that may occur due to global warming.
Speakers at the rally said more global attention is needed for immediate action to stop fossil fuel burning and help enable people to adopt cleaner and renewable sources of energy.
Noted activist representing transgender people, Evan Ahmed Kotha of Shocheton Somaj Sheba Hijra Shongha, said: “Climate crisis is a global problem and we (Bangladesh) are the ones who are badly affected. So, I would like to ask the entire world to stand beside us so we can put pressure on high carbon emitting countries.”
Nishat, another transgender leader from ShadaKalo Hijra Unnayaon Shongothan, said: “We don’t want any compensation for climate change. However, we want to draw the attention of those high carbon emitting countries so they stop their emissions.”
Transgender participants reiterated that people in general may feel that transgender groups are only focused on their own, narrow, group interest. However, transgender people too live in Bangladesh with family, friends, and neighbours.
They too are concerned about the future of Bangladesh.
Transgender activist and member of Bangladesh Youth Climate Network (BYCN), Hasna Hena said: “Adaptation is of limited use when people face drought, salinity, flooding, and a lack of fresh water and food. All these problems are increasing rapidly, and will continue to do so until the main carbon emitters change their consumption behaviour.“
Institute of Wellbeing, Bangladesh Executive Director Debra Efroymson, led a chant with the participants: “What do we want? Climate action! When do we want it? Now!”
She said the climate crisis is so serious, people around the world need to stand together to demand strong action and a rapid end to all greenhouse gas emissions.
She said we need to learn courage from our transgender friends andwe all need to stand united to address this international emergency.
Given the planet’s limited resources and a limited capacity to absorb waste, it is important that the global community reduce resource use and seek direct approaches to improve wellbeing.
Organizers of the event were Bangladesh Youth Climate Network, Car Free Cities Alliance Bangladesh, the Institute of Wellbeing, and Stop Emissions Now, Bangladesh.
Among the transgender participants, people from Afghanistan, USA, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Syria participated in the event.