Climate change has the potential to undermine development of countries like Bangladesh and vulnerabilities could be increased. Please read the story of Hosne Ara, women of Kollatoli village situated at very adjacent of Cox’sbazar sea beach. She lost her own home 3 times due to seashore erosion. Losing everything, she has built a small room at other land and go to sleep in each night keeping a fear to submerge her last destination. As like Hosne Ara, millions of people of coastal districts of Bangladesh fear to lose home, land and properties hearing the forecast of submerging of coastal districts under sea due to global warming from the climate scientists. A shadow climate tribunal held at Dhaka before COP 16 where audiences wept hearing the story of testimonies and the juries blamed the riches for climate change and demanded compensation.
Compensation like financing in climate change is a critical issue discussed at the global negotiation. Describing the forthcoming climate impacts to the Bangladesh, Prime Minister of Bangladesh in her address at the Copenhagen Climate Summit (COP 15) in December 2009 stressed a common commitment to meet the emergency needs of millions of household whose lives are endangered by increasing natural disasters, erosion of riverbanks and salinisation of rivers and Copenhagen Accord of Commitment were developed. In the next, the Cancun Agreement enshrined the Copenhagen Accord commitment to a new Green Climate Fund with an interim Fast Start Funding (FSF) package which reaffirmed the commitment from developed countries mobilize $100 billion of climate finance a year by 2020 to address the adaptation needs of developing countries.
Financing of a sustainable climate deal is still a vision, not a reality, although pieces of the future package are now in place. The emerging structure is being framed from the global level. The global policy leaders are generating knowledge about context of country level for its future development which will be scrutinized under Monitoring, Reporting and Verification requirements. We should keep it mind carefully to overcome the policy and diplomacy of climate entrepreneurs particularly of rich countries.
Policy and Diplomacy to control Climate Finance
Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF), a multi-donor fund for supporting the implementation of Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) formed, but fund as per commitment yet to receive. Before receiving any funds, development partners pressured Bangladesh to make World Bank (WB) as manager of the BCCRF, but hearing the protests hearing the protests from mass people, the government denied to this role of World Bank in BCCRF as fund manager.
Delaying the fund disbursement to BCCR, Bangladesh government initiated Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) with own resources and approved 44 government projects and 53 NGO projects at a combined cost of $75 million. Already questions raised by the media about selection process of NGO’s for project implementation. So, the government holds the NGOs projects while Government projects has already gone in implementation.
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) also found the corruption risks in management of Climate Fund and urged to ensure transparency in utilization. They have already declared to monitor the climate fund accordingly to ensure transparency.
We, as a citizen of Bangladesh has appreciated the initiative of TIB, but fears to fall in the corruption trap. Already Alice Harrison, the Communication and Advocacy Coordinator for Transparency International’s Climate GovernanceIntegrity Programme raised question, Climate Finance in Bangladesh: Where has all the money gone? by giving a brief, “Despite the influx of millions of dollars of climate finance into Bangladeshi coffers, villagers here say they’ve seen no evidence of it. Corruption has long aggravated levels of social injustice in Bangladesh, depriving children of access to education, increasing poverty and hunger, and closing the door to basic healthcare provision, particularly for the poor. Climate money may be relatively new to Bangladesh, but it will be flowing through familiar channels. Wary that funds risk being hijacked by corrupt interests, TI Bangladesh has begun shining a light on them, to ascertain where money’s coming from, how it’s managed, what it’s spent on and why.”
An autonomous board for climate fund management
As a citizen, we fear, the government is going to fall in the corruption trap which will help the World Bank (WB) to re-establish control over climate fund. So, we have urged the government to accumulate all climate funds under a single autonomous board with democratic ownship to avoid any trap and keep WB out of climate change which the LDC nations premised.
The influential policy leaders like the rich countries and IFIs is trying to control national climate funds to serve the interests of climate entrepreneurs. The Least Development Countries (LDCs) should take a common position to protest this vested interest of climate entrepreneurs to serve the lives and livelihoods of millions of climate victims living under the climate threats.