Bangladesh urges quick release of climate fund

(Originally published here)

A high official yesterday complained that the release of global climate fund (GCF) meant for supporting the adaptation projects in vulnerable countries remains slow, hindering the implementation activities.

“It needs to be expedited. The approach should not be like a banker,” said Dr Nurul Quadir, joint secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, giving a reference to the sorry state of financing approach to eight climate adaptation projects Bangladesh has so far adopted to fight the impact of climate change.

“Financing from the GCF is slow … it needs to be expedited,” he told a dialogue titled “COP21 Presidency: Roadmap Towards COP22” at the residence of the French Ambassador in Dhaka, as Bangladesh has already initiated implementation of the projects.

Ambassador of France, the COP21 Presidency, Sophie Aubert and Ambassador of Morocco Mohammed Houroro gave the welcome addresses at the dialogue, moderated by BCAS Executive Director Dr Atiq Rahman.

Professor Emeritus of BRAC University Dr Ainun Nishat and Dr AKM Saiful Islam of Buet made presentations on “Bangladesh at Stake: Scenarios on Climate Impact; Facing Climate Disruption” while ICCCAD Director Dr Saleemul Huq’s presentation was on “Towards COP22: Challenges and Expectations.”

Besides the challenge at home, speakers at the dialogue raised a challenge international community would have to face to make successful the Paris Agreement adopted in December last to fight the impact of climate change.

The challenge at this moment would be to ratify the agreement in April at the UN headquarters in New York. In accordance with the Paris Agreement, countries having 55% of the total current emission will have to sign the agreement there.

“If any two of the most polluting countries do not sign, the agreement would not come into force,” said Dr Atiq. He mentioned the countries like China, USA, India and Japan as the most polluting countries.

Dr Nurul Quadir said the COP21 sets things and now its implementation which is a challenge for the COP21 and COP22 presidencies – they will have to go to the most polluters to convince them to ratify the Paris Agreement while ensuring that the vulnerable countries get adequate fund for adaptation and mitigation programmes.

Dr Saleemul Huq said that the COP22 would be of loss and damage issue and it would be decided there what to do about the issue. “It’s going to be a very important output for going forward,” he said.

Criticising the way of using the GCF, he said it is not for spending on the consultants, the fund should be spent on really building capacities of the countries vulnerable to the climate change impact.

Ambassador of Morocco, where the COP22 would be held as a follow up of COP21, Mohammed Houroro said: “The COP 22 will be the right occasion for Morocco to put forward its strategy in the use of renewable energies which will reduce by 15% Greenhouse Gas.”

The King of Morocco Mohaamed VI and the president of France Francois Holland have agreed to implement a joint roadmap to complete the project adopted in Paris Summit in November 2015, he added.

“We need to underline the cop 20 in Lima 2014 was for negotiations, Paris for decisions and Marrakech will be a conference for actions,’’ said the Moroccan Ambassador Mohammad Houroro.

Ambassador of France Sophie Aubert welcomed the guests at the workshop held at her residence while Dr Atiq Rahman, executive director of BCAS, moderated the workshop.  The workshop was addressed, among others, by Dr Nurul Quadir, joint secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forests and Saiful Islam of Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology (BUET).  European Union Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon, other diplomats, climate experts and civil society members attended the workshop. 

Source: Dhaka Tribune Report