British-Bangladesh Initiative: Groups to study climate change


Enquiry report to be submitted at Copenhagen summit to ensure equity

Staff Correspondent

The all-party parliamentary groups on climate change and environment of Bangladesh and the UK have teamed up to launch a joint enquiry into climate change.

The enquiry report will be presented at the Copenhagen climate change summit and will be sent to the two governments. It is anticipated that it will also be discussed in Bangladesh and UK parliaments, says a press statement.

The parliamentary committees of the two countries–one in a least developed country grappling with adaptation and the other in one of the richest countries in the developed world professing mitigation–will conduct the enquiry specifically on “Climate change equity: is it a plan, an aspiration or a fashion statement?”

Chairs of the two parliamentary groups, Saber Hossain Chowdhury of Bangladesh and Colin Challen of the UK, yesterday launched the enquiry, which seeks to gain a better insight on how the two countries view the challenges of climate change equity.

Although least responsible for the problem, Bangladesh is a country most at threat from climate change while the UK is often regarded as one of those–if not the leader–in shaping climate change policy.

In the statement, Saber Hossain Chowdhury said climate change for Bangladesh is a development challenge as well as an issue of human rights and justice.

“An equitable deal in Copenhagen will only be possible if we are able to have clarity and consensus on the concept of equity in climate change negotiations and this would then hopefully pave the way for resolving the burden sharing riddle. This enquiry will bring this question into sharp focus,” he said.

Colin Challen said the need for the enquiry is overwhelming. “We want the result of this enquiry to be presented in Copenhagen.” Many countries with very low carbon dioxide footprints, like Bangladesh, are prevented from benefiting from mechanisms like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Challen added.

He further said Bangladesh has only seen two of these projects implemented in the entire history of the CDM, which for a country of 100 million plus population is clearly inequitable. Countries like Bangladesh did not cause climate change, but they also seem to be penalised for it. This enquiry will look at this and related issues.

In the statement, Saber and Challen sought for evidences by October 12, within 3,000 words and in electronic form, from all who are concerned to achieve, and are working towards, an equitable and fully inclusive deal on climate change in Copenhagen.

The submissions might be sent to saberchowdhury@yahoo.com  and colinchallenmp@parliament.uk.

Source: The Daily Star, 09 August 2009

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