Ziaul Haque, director (Air Quality Management) of the Department of Environment and the lead negotiator for the LDC group at COP25, speaks to Dhaka Tribune's Mehedi Al Amin about the negotiation challenges awaiting Bangladesh at the COP25. This is the second of a three part series
What issues will be highlighted at COP25?
At COP24, we successfully adopted the Paris Rulebook under the Paris Agreement. There are different articles on adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage, finance and transparency framework under the Paris Agreement and the compliance mechanism. We succeeded in adopting these rules, modalities and guidelines for those articles to articulate and operationalize. But last year we could not finish our discussions. Negotiations are still ongoing over Article Six of the Paris Agreement, which talks about the market mechanism and non-market mechanism that we had in the Kyoto Protocol. We are hoping that COP25 will be able to adopt Article Six. So, under the Paris Agreement, there will be similar mechanisms, one on market and one on non-market.
Since the Oslo International Mechanism on Loss and Damage due to adverse climate change was established by COP19 in 2013, there will be a comprehensive review of it this time.
What are the challenges for Bangladesh and other LDCs to negotiate?
With regard to the Paris Agreement of market and non-market mechanisms, we are trying to focus on gaining market access. Last time under the Kyoto Protocol, Bangladesh and other LDCs could not benefit much, but now we are trying for provisions that will actually provide some benefits from market mechanisms.
Similarly, on Loss and Damage, we want to see real activities and real support to address loss and damage. We are frequently facing disasters and extreme effects due to climate change. But the Oslo International Mechanism as of now is delivering some benefits like enhanced knowledge and understanding on loss and damage, and what possible activities can be undertaken at national, regional, and international levels. But there has not been any complete action with financial support from developed countries to implement these actions.
The adaptation fund and Green Climate Fund (GCF) is there to address adaptation and mitigation, but there is no dedicated fund to address loss and damage. We believe there should be a separate fund to address loss and damage. At the same time, we want to see real action to address loss and damage at the national level with the support of developed countries and other supportive countries.
What kind of preparation do you have to assess the loss and damage in Bangladesh? What kind of technical support do you expect or want from developed countries?
First, we need to have a common internationally agreed methodology to assess loss and damage. It must be assessed how much money or resources are needed to offset loss and damage. Hence, we need technical support for Bangladesh to assess. Second, we need to have concrete financial support to address and to compensate or to mitigate losses and damages.
Could you help us understand why the financial flow for three approved projects from the GCF has not been what we expected?
Yes, we have been pushing for simple mechanisms to access GCF. Though there are efforts to simplify the process, there are some complications to get approval from the executive board of the Clean Development Mechanism.
Bangladesh, developing countries, and the G77, are pushing continuously to simplify the process. So far we could access around perhaps $85 million. But we need more.
What could be achieved from COP25?
We are expecting to complete negotiations of Article Six and hoping that COP25 will adopt rules and regulations around both market and non-market mechanisms of the Paris Agreement. We also want to see a comprehensive review of the Oslo International Mechanism on Loss and Damage and a very good outcome in terms of the functions of Loss and Damage.