Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the Commonwealth to play its crucial role in eradicating poverty and minimising climate vulnerabilities of the underprivileged people.

“I strongly believe that the Commonwealth can play a pivotal role towards sustainable and nature-based solutions for a prosperous future,” she said while addressing a virtual roundtable of the Asia Regional Commonwealth heads of government.

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Prince of Wales Charles Philip Arthur George, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, convened the roundtable.

Hasina, chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), suggested three measures ahead of COP26. The measures include promotion of green and sustainable economic growth worldwide and investing in a circular economy for building back better.

The two other measures are: putting emphasis on carbon neutral technologies with a provision of knowledge and technology transfer among Commonwealth members with particular attention to the vulnerable countries; and supporting the climate vulnerable countries to get access to climate finance for adaptation measures.

The PM also urged everyone to focus on providing shelter to the homeless which is the best strategy to eradicate poverty and minimise climate vulnerability of the underprivileged people.

She said Bangladesh has emerged as a global leader on adaptation despite vulnerabilities and resource constraints. “Every year, we are spending about $5 billion from our own resources for adaptation and climate resilience.”

Hasina said Bangladesh has adopted “Mujib Climate Prosperity Initiatives” marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to deal with the adverse impacts of climate change.

Under the initiatives, Bangladesh is pursuing a low-carbon development path. “We’re going to generate up to 40 gigawatt of renewable energy by 2041, and plant 30 million saplings. We hope to submit a quantified ambitious NDC by June 2021.”

As the second largest exporter of readymade garments, Bangladesh is also exploring efficient options of circular fashion and textiles as part of the overall circular economy, she added.

Noting that the world is going through an unprecedented and yet uncertain pandemic situation, the PM said her government has adopted policies and measures focusing on lives and livelihoods.

“By the grace of the Almighty, Bangladesh has been able to continue with its socioeconomic development minimising the impact of the pandemic.”

Hasina extended her sincere thanks to the Royal Highness for convening the roundtable with “mother nature” at the heart of the dialogue.


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