File photo: Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen speaks at the concluding session of the three-day Dhaka Global Dialogue on Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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US shows much interest in Bangladesh, says Momen

The “Leaders’ Summit on Climate,” set to be held later this week, will largely incorporate the issues raised by Bangladesh on its agenda as the United States is “giving much importance” to Bangladesh as its partner to tackle the climate crisis, says Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

“They have much interest in Bangladesh. They have taken a note of key issues that should come up in the summit agenda,” the foreign minister told UNB during an interaction at his residence.

The US praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her leadership in the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and she will be “recognized for Bangladesh’s leadership” of the countries, especially vulnerable to climate impacts, during the climate summit.

US President Joe Biden, who took action on his first day in office to return the United States to the Paris Agreement, has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, to join the summit to be held on April 22 and 23.

Bangladesh talked about the significance of the promised international financial flow at and beyond $100 billion annually to support sustainable development and energy transformations of the developing economies.

Bangladesh stressed that the funding should be distributed at 50:50 ratio between mitigation and adaptation at the same time noting that adaptation without mitigation is not a good strategy.

‘NDC is a big agenda for Bangladesh’

On the issue of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), Foreign Minister Momen emphasized on behalf of Bangladesh as well as the CVF that all countries need to work hard to fulfill their NDCs at the earliest.

“We talked about $100 billion financial flow and the issue of NDC. Hopefully, these will be included in the agenda,” he said.

Bangladesh submitted an interim NDC on December 31, 2020 and was reviewing the potential to enhance its mitigation ambition to submit a quantified ambitious NDC by June 2021.

Momen said NDC is a big agenda for Bangladesh which is leading the CVF. “Bangladesh wants to see each country meets the NDC aggressively. We believe that the Paris Agreement is the way-out.”

Though Bangladesh raised the issue of “loss and damage” due to climatic events, including displacement of people from river erosion, sea-level rise and increasing of salinity in coastal areas, this might not be there on the agenda this time.

Bangladesh seeks US support

Under the leadership of the US, Bangladesh hopes, the developed countries will come forward with ambitious actions to limit global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry listened to Bangladesh to know which issues should get focus in the summit agenda when he came to Bangladesh to invite Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently, Momen said.

The foreign minister said Kerry wanted to know about the scope of hydroelectricity in Bangladesh. Bangladesh conveyed that friendly countries India, Nepal and Bhutan have better scopes for the hydroelectricity generation. “We want you to help them.”

Bangladesh requested for US support in renewable energy, including investment from the US companies, in the renewable energy sector of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh also requested for US assistance for the reconstruction and widening of embankments around rivers to stop bank erosion, and also afforestation along the embankments, and in the Southern region of Bangladesh.

The issue of rehabilitation of the population displaced because of river erosion and also from the coastal areas because of the sea-level rise was discussed.

The US highly appreciated Bangladesh’s excellent adaptation and mitigation efforts, and mentioned that Bangladesh had shown an amazing resilience to climate change despite many adversities.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Russian President Vladimir Puti, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are among the participants invited by the US president.

Stronger climate action

The summit will underscore the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action.

It will be a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow, according to the White House.

A key goal of both the Leaders’ Summit and COP26 will be to catalyse efforts that keep that 1.5-degree goal within reach.

The summit will also highlight examples of how enhanced climate ambition will create good paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts.

By the time of the summit, the United States will announce an ambitious 2030 emission target as its new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.

In his invitation, the US president urged leaders to use the summit as an opportunity to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.



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