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ActionAid: Solution to climate crisis, global inequality is circular economy

  • Published at 08:16 pm January 20th, 2020
Speakers at a discussion titled "Circular Economy: Addressing Poverty and Exclusion for Climate Justice"at International University of Bangladesh (IUB) campus on Monday, January 20, 2020 Courtesy

The speakers called for promoting greater awareness and consumer behavioural change to promote and practice circular economy

ActionAid Bangladesh has suggested adopting circular economy principles to address overall climate crisis, global inequality, and alleviate poverty.

The issues were discussed in a session titled, Circular Economy: Addressing Poverty and Exclusion for Climate Justice" at International University of Bangladesh (IUB) campus on Monday.

The discussion panel which aimed to promote research into action in Banglawas, was jointly organised by International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and IUB.

While moderating the session, the Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh Farah Kabir said the industrial revolution spurred massive development and industrial growth but at the cost of our planet's environment.

During her key speech, she mentioned how circular economy process, goods are turned into resources to minimize waste. Adding the circular economy can redefine economic growth focusing on societal benefits to create new green industries, and jobs by reducing environmental degradation.

Farah further said ActionAid Bangladesh has been one of the forerunners in Bangladesh, who works on climate justice, however, it is time to demand for an alternative development model as well as demonstrating ways to incorporate circularity within its program and operations.  

Director of ICCCAD Dr Saleemul Haque seconded Farah, and said: “We have to reengineer the economic system. Especially, our garment industry is a big weapon to promote and ensure circular economy by minimizing pollution and waste.

"This will not only benefit our environment but also will bring back the reputation of our products in the global market."

Director of BGMEA Asif Ibrahim said the RMG sectors have already taken initiatives to promote circular economy, and suppliers in Bangladesh also started to align themselves with the idea. 

“Time has come for everybody to wake up, and manufacturers need to take initiatives to bring the change,” he added. 

The Department for International Development (DFID) Senior Environment Adviser John Warburton said: "In Bangladesh, circular economy is not still happening at large extent. The government needs to take initiatives to promote circular economy, and policy and regulations need to be strictly enforced."

The speakers in the discussion also called for promoting greater awareness and consumer behavioural change to promote and practice circular economy.

British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson said everyday the headlines are reminding us that something is going wrong. It is time to mobilize global opinion and global citizens to act on preventing climate crisis.

“Generating new ideas and technology to fight the rapidly changing climate is necessary in order to put science and policies together in action”, he said adding that climate change is not only an issue of environment but also an issue of our next generation.

Co-Chair of Gobal Commission of Adaptation (GCA) Ban Ki Moon shared a video message where he expressed his concern about the changing climate and urged everyone to take necessary actions.

“Revolution is required in three areas- understanding, planning, and finance. Bangladesh has shown how preparing community can reduce disaster risk and loss. 

"The country has shown its leadership in promoting locally led action,” he said in the video message.

During the inaugural session of the conference in the morning, S M Monzurul Hannan Khan, Additonal Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, GoB spoke as the chief guest. 

He said: “We are preparing the 8th national five-year plan and are trying to address the climate change issues in our policy and planning.

 “We cannot put our environment at risk for economic development and need to ensure sustainable development."