The disappointing news of G20 climate talks

G20 climate talks in Bali, Indonesia have been unable to agree a joint communique, amid objections over language used on climate targets and the war in Ukraine, the media report said. Although Indonesia’s Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar had started the meeting by urging countries to cut emissions and prevent the planet from being pushed to a point “where no future will be sustainable”, but some countries, including China, had objected to previously agreed language in the Glasgow climate pact and past G20 agreements on efforts to limit global average temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius, said an official with knowledge of the meeting, declining to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media, reports Reuters.

FEBRUARY 19, 1988 | DHAKA ——– ——– MARCH 20, 2022 | DHAKA
The growth of the city is evident in the Landsat images above. The Thematic Mapper on Landsat 5 captured the first image on February 19, 1988; the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured the second on March 20, 2022. Source: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

The report of NASA on Bangladesh, which is one of the most vulnerable country to climate change, came into view while reading the disappointing news of G20 talks. It seems, we are running towards a mirage. The world is demanding solution, but the leaders are busy in debate and commitment, then everything goes in about empty. Although the G20 emits 75 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, they are not participating in the reduction process properly. Financing discussions are not getting much importance, and finance is not being given as per their commitment. The whole discussion is turning into a stalemate.

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DIGITAL BANGLADESH TO SMART BANGLADESH

Bangladesh formulated its vision 2021 to build `Digital Bangladesh’. At the end of vision 2021, Bangladesh is going to enter in new era with a new vision to build `Smart Bangladesh’. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the third meeting of task force of `Digital Bangladesh’ held on 4th April 2022 spoke about `Smart Bangladesh Vision 2041’ to build `Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041. In order to build a knowledge based economy and innovative nation as well as `Smart Bangladesh, she asked to renamed the `Tasks Force of Digital Bangladesh’ to `Tasks Force of Smart Bangladesh’ at that meeting.

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Bangladeshi CSOs Campaign During Global Climate Strike

In solidarity with the Global Climate Strike held on 20-27 September, several rights-based organizations namely Center for Participatory Research and Development – CPRD, COAST Trust, Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), Network on Climate Change – Bangladesh (NCC-B) and Shariatpur Development Society (SDS) organized a human chain in front of the National Press Club, Dhaka on 20 September, 2019. The speakers from the human chain urged the world leaders to undertake immediate actions to combat global warming. Md. Shamsuddoha of CPRD, Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Pradip Kumar Roy of Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL), Mustafa Kamal Akanda of Coast Trust and Atikul Islam Tipu of Coastal Development Partnership (CDP) shared their opinion in the event.

Global Climate Strike, 19 September 2019

Md. Shamsuddoha said that the rise of atmospheric carbon concentration- so as the Earth’s average temperature- is just alarming. The Earth has already experienced a rise in temperature by 1.1 degrees C from the pre-industrial level and we are heading towards the ‘complete collapse’ of the Earth’s Systems as scientists predict that there will be a rise in the global average temperature by 4 to 5 degree Centigrade if we fail to initiate deep emission cut from now. He added that the countries that are historically responsible for global warming should act now for emission reduction and also should provide adequate finances to save the communities and countries that are exposed to the climate-induced risks and vulnerabilities. He demanded climate justice from the countries responsible for climate change.

Badrul Alam stated that it has been four years since the Paris Agreement is agreed upon by the countries but no strong political initiative has been taken to date to tackle the impacts of climate change. Ironically, U.S. President Donald Trump announced to pull the country out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Pradip Kumar Roy of CSRL mentioned that if global leaders don’t act right now to stop fossil fuel-based industrialization, the global average temperature will cross the border mark of 1.50C and might rise up to 3-40C by the end of 2100.

Atikul Islam Tipu said that global leaders must act above their national interests and come to a consensus to protect the world. He urged the countries responsible for carbon emissions to accept the liability and undertake immediate measures for emission reduction.

The speakers demanded to keep the temperature below 1.50C above the pre-industrial level to save planet Earth from the unavoidable and irreversible adversities of climate change.

BANGLADESH: GOVERNMENT URGED TO INTEGRATE CLIMATE ADAPTATION IN THE BUDGET

Fifteen Bangladeshi civil society organizations urged the government to integrate climate adaptation measures in the national budget and to give thrust on self finance or local resource mobilization. In a press conference, the groups warned that it would be unwise to expect or depend on foreign aid in this regard.

The plan was proposed by the groups to the Finance Minister and to all legislators prior to the budgetary debate. The memorandum was prepared after consultations held in seven divisions, ten districts, four national seminars and twenty five group discussion, with the participation of climate victims and civil society organizations based on the climate change strategic action plan prepared by the government in 2009.

The group designed eleven priority actions: the construction of coastal embankment, long term steps to reduce river erosion, land zoning to preserve agricultural land, excavation of ponds and canals to increase reservation of surface water, inclusion of climate issue in all level of education, extension of BADC up to upazila level to promote local seeds, innovation of  alternative water source in hilly areas, improving drinking water and sanitation in urban areas, construction of housing in urban areas for slum dwellers, extension and more allocation in health service and population control.

They have also proposed reforms in the water development board, providing more authority to forest and environment in conducting trial of mangrove grabbers, integration of land and agriculture ministries for implementation of climate adaptive projects.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, chief moderator of the Equity and Justice Working Group (EquityBD), said that climate impacts are already vivid and acute, warned that the country can not wait for foreign aid to mitigate the damages.

When developed countries enjoyed good economic health, they hardly earmarked 0.7% of their gross national product to development assistance, and that goal will be harder to reach in the middle of the current crisis, Chowdhury noted.

The activist also said that it is possible to finance climate adaptation with local resources if the country reforms its tax system, minimizes corruption and revenue costs, prioritizes development projects and mobilizes local governments.

Badrul Alam (Bangladesh Krishok Federation), Mizanur Rahman Bijoy (Network on Climate Change), Jahangir Hossain Masum (Coastal Development Partnership), Prodip Kumar Roy (Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood/On Line Knowledge Society) and Mostafa Kamal Akanda (EquityBD) also took part in the press conference.

The groups that support the proposal are BAPA, BIPNetCCBD, CCDF, CSRL, CFGN, EquityBD, NCCB, BKF, OKS, CGC, CDP, BKS, Humanity Watch, PRAN and VOICE.

All Climate Funds in a Single Autonomous Board is the best response to keep World Bank out of Climate Finance

Dhaka, 9th October 2011 – Today, eighteen civil society rights group led by EquityBD formed a human chain and rally in front of the national press club and demanded that the government must be aware of the trap of conspiracy and corruption as they urged that all climate funds be part of a single autonomous board. The group also demanded that the World Bank not be given a role in climate finance. The group said this is the right solution as the government is already being publicly questioned regarding transparency in climate fund disbursement.

The group consisted of APON, ASOW, CSRL, Online Knowledge Society, EquityBD, Lead Trust, NCCB, BUP, Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Jatiya Sramik Jote, SIRAC Bangladesh, Humanity Watch, DCI, PRAN, SDO, SUPRO, and VOICE. The rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD; Other speakers in the rally were Mizanur Rahman Bijoy of NCCB, Prodip Kumar Roy of On Line Knowledge Centre, Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD, Fakhrul Ferdous of DCI, Mohin Ahmed of Bangaldesh Krishok Federation, and Farhana Akther of SUPRO.

Prodip Kumar Roy of On Line Knowledge Center said that government is already being criticized due to lack of transparency on climate fund disbursement. He added that there is hardly any information on what the World Bank is doing with the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund. He urged the government to reconsider merging the two funds (BCCTF and BCCRF) into a single fund management and form an autonomous board like PKSF.

Fokrul Ferdous of DCI said there is an international conspiracy involved with the government maintaining such questionable fund management so that the World Bank will have the means and space to engage in corruption and also to justify its claim in managing the fund. He added that this strengthens the leverage of the World Bank to impose the conditionality of opening the market for multi-national companies and also making the country more indebted.

Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD criticized the creation of two climate fund boards, which he termed as mere Government Ownership. He proposed an alternative term of “Democratic Ownership” where the board consists of members of parliaments who are from the opposition, representatives from the media, local governments and climate victims. He suggested that government abide with the following measures for its disbursed projects – (i) corruption risk assessment, (ii) information disclosure policy, (iii) complaint response mechanism and (iv) participation index at all implementation levels.

‘Buy rice from farmers’

Speakers at a human chain yesterday urged the government to purchase rice directly from farmers at a minimum rate of Tk 20 per kg to protect their interest.
Framers have seen a bumper harvest of rice this year for the government’s farmers-friendly policy, they said.
But farmers do not get just price and therefore the government should take necessary steps to ensure the just price, observed the speakers.
The human chain was jointly organised by Karmojibi Nari, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), and Online Knowledge Centre in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the city, says a press release.
Karmojibi Nari executive director Rokeya Rafiq, Online Knowledge Centre moderator Prodip Kumar Roy, among others, spoke at the function.

News Source: https://www.thedailystar.net/news-detail-185714

No conditional WB fund for climate projects: PM

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government would not take the World Bank’s fund, earmarked to help Bangladesh to tackle the adverse impacts of global warming, if it does not agree with conditions imposed by the global lender. She said the government would take up a plan for dredging the major rivers, including the Padma, Meghna, Jamuna and Brahmaputra.  ‘We will not take the fund from the World Bank if we have to accept their conditions,’ said the prime minister in reply to a question in the parliament. ‘They will have to give us the fund as per our terms.’ She said that Bangladesh would get enough funds to face the adverse impacts of global warming.

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