Bangladesh to claim Rio+20 climate fund

The Daily Star July 25, 2012

Bangladesh should take effort to solicit money from a US$ 513 billion fund pledged at the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development this June, a top government official told a seminar yesterday.

Is ‘green economy’ the answer?

“As governments, private sector, civil society and other groups expressed their commitments at the summit, now our goal is to secure climate funds for the country,” said SM Ahsanul Aziz, deputy director (climate change), Department of Environment (DoE), while delivering his keynote speech.

Rio+20 summit or the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNSCD) was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 20-22.

In the keynote paper, the DoE deputy director said Brazil pledged $16 million for developing, least developed and small island nations, while China offered $20 million to unlock private financing for clean energy projects. The European Commission also promised a fund of 400 billion Euro to support sustainable energy projects, he added.

Ahsanul Aziz said Bangladesh also needed to ensure its inclusion in the intergovernmental committee to assess financial needs for sustainable development financing.

Reflecting on the achievements of Bangladesh at Rio+20, he said Bangladesh was honoured by the UNDP’s Equator Initiative for its outstanding contribution to sustainable development, and for the first time, the country became one of the vice-presidents of UNCSD.

Promoting green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, the Rio+20 accepted Bangladesh’s text, which says that each country should choose an appropriate approach in accordance with the national sustainable development plans, strategies and priorities, he said.

The seminar titled “The achievement of world people and stand of Bangladesh in Rio+20” was organised jointly by Bangladesh Climate Change Journalists Forum, IEDB and Rahimafrooz at the capital’s Institute of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh.

Special guest at the programme, Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman said the government had to take initiatives to establish green economy in the country to strengthen the fight against climate change.

“The more developed we are, the more resources we consume, consequently polluting the environment more than ever before,” he said.

He said “green banking” had been introduced in banks across the country where a “paperless banking system” was aimed at promoting emailing to replace use of papers.

Environment and Forests Minster Dr Hasan Mahmud, who addressed the seminar as chief guest, said, “Bangladesh as a Least Developed Country too needs to reduce carbon emissions but not at the cost of its inclusive development activities.”

About “green economy”, he said that initially the cost might be high but in the long run it would be cost effective.