Dhaka urges countries to be more ambitious on climate issues

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Dhaka, Dec 01: Bangladesh has urged countries to be more ambitious on mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and the issue of loss and damage.

“As President of the CVF Forum it is our honour to continue to amplify at the COP26 and beyond, the voices of CVF members, specially those most affected by climate change,” said State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam.

He made the remarks while addressing the “CVF-CoP 26 Dialogue: Meeting the Survival Deadline towards Maximal Resilience” held virtually on Monday.

UK’s FCDO Minister for Environment and COP26 Lord Goldsmith, Chairperson of the Bangladesh National Advisory Committee on Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Autism and CVF Thematic Ambassador for Vulnerability Saima Wazed Hossain and Bangladesh High Commissioner in London Saida Muna Tasneem, among others, spoke.

The State Minister thanked Minister Goldsmith for reaffirming COP26 Presidency’s willingness to work closely with Bangladesh Presidency of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and UK’s climate financing commitments to support CVF countries’ ambitious adaptation and resilience plans and our aspired transitions to low-carbon and resilient development pathways including CVF’s clean energy initiatives towards a 100% renewable by 2050, curb emissions and limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

“This is perhaps for the first time the CVF and COP26 would join hands in forging shared climate ambitions towards a successful COP26 outcome and Bangladesh looks forward to leading that conversation with UK’s COP26 team,” Shahriar said.

This year, Bangladesh is celebrating the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and planting 10 million saplings nationwide to support the climate resilience action.

Moreover, in this important year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also announced the ‘Mujib Planetary Prosperity Decade’ and action plan, which will chart a low-carbon pathway to deliver SDGs while making our economy more climate resilient, and decarbonize, said the State Minister.

“Our Parliament declared a “Planetary Emergency” and called on the world to work “on a war-footing’’ to stop climate change.”

Saima Wazed Hossain said unfortunately, CVF communities across the globe are at a tipping point of these extreme climate incidents and related mental health risks.

“With rising temperatures and sea-levels rise, they are not only faced with irreversible existential and survival deadlines and highest climate displacements, but also with irreversible mental health loss and damage with very limited capacities to respond,” she said.

She said they need to create CVF-COP26 climate and mental health networks of resilient climate survivors, climate ambitious youths, mental health experts and parliamentarians for innovating technology-based climate resilience life skills and coping mechanisms for empowering communities to tackle mental health impacts of climate change.

“We need the COP26-CVF partnership to rally behind the CVF’s call for a dedicated UN Special Rapporteur for climate change and human rights to uphold human rights of the most vulnerable of climate victims,” Saima said.