Momen calls upon developed nations to compensate for the pollution they are responsible for
Bangladesh has called upon the developed countries -- responsible for the highest rates of global carbon emissions -- to pay compensation to the poorer nations for the losses and damages incurred through climate change.
In an interview with ITV News, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said it is fair and just for these bigger countries to pay compensation because they are the ones that abuse the resources and spoil planet Earth.
The G20, which is made up of most of the world’s largest economies, accounts for more than 80% of global carbon emissions.
Meanwhile, developing countries like Bangladesh often emit the lowest amounts of global emissions but are forced to endure the disproportionate wrath of climate change.
Bangladesh is only responsible for 0.4% of the planet’s total carbon discharge yet loses around 2% of its GDP yearly to extreme climate events, says the ITV News.
Six million Bangladeshis have so far got displaced as a consequence of climate change and by 2050, the country fears 17% of its coastline will vanish underwater creating 30 million climate refugees.
“This is an existential problem for Bangladesh,” Momen said, adding that the climate change issue is not a national issue, not a regional issue, it is a global issue. "We all have to work together in collaboration and partnership to save this planet."
Bangladesh is currently presiding over the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a global partnership of 48 countries disproportionately impacted by the consequences of global warming.
The group was formed partly to hold industrialised countries to account for their contributions towards climate change.
The foreign minister explained the CVF, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, will be pushing for a number of policy commitments at the UN climate summit which is now less than two months away.
These include endorsing commitments of reaching the 1.5C warming limit by 2030 as set out in the Paris agreement in 2015 and lobbying wealthy countries to honour their climate finance promise of investing $100 billion per year from 2020-2025 to assist climate-vulnerable countries.
The issue of 'losses and damages' will be high on the agenda for the CVF at the Summit. Although lacking a clear definition, this generally refers to the negative impacts of climate change often felt by developing countries.
Also Read - British envoy: COP26 critical for Bangladesh
The Climate Summit -- COP26 -- is scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November.
Professor Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Dhaka, told ITV News that although the losses and damages have been felt by developing countries for decades, the issue is only now slowly starting to be talked about.
“Countries like Bangladesh and other developing nations have been hit with extreme weather, no doubt influenced by climate change for years and no one seemed to care," he said.
The UK became the first G7 country to enshrine in law a commitment to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma is urging other countries to follow suit, but Bangladesh says unless the UK and other developed nations can provide the relevant technological and financial support required, they won’t be able to make the commitment to achieving net zero by the middle of the century.
Sharma said: “Cop26 is our last best hope of avoiding the worst effects of climate change, and we cannot afford to fail.”
Momen told ITV News that the summit was an opportunity to “help save this planet.”