The Climate Change Conference and Bangladesh: BEN
It is disappointing that the international community as a whole is yet to make adequate progress in combating climate change or adapting to it. Even though the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is about to expire at the end of 2012, the GHG reduction goal set by this Protocol is yet to be met. Also, no agreement about a second commitment has yet been reached.
developing nations, small and Most Vulnerable Countries (MVC) continue to suffer the imminent danger of the effects of climate change.
In this backdrop, Bangladesh and other MVC’s will need to carefully evaluate their positions and assert their rights in the upcoming UN climate change conference. On the one hand, MVC’s must voice their need for financial and technical assistance from developed nations to take steps to adapt with immediate effects of climate change. On the other hand, they should refrain from siding with developed countries in pressuring emerging developing countries to take on unreasonable GHG reduction targets, while encouraging the latter countries to take on voluntary GHG emission reduction targets.
Lastly, Bangladesh and MVC’s must assert on the right of climate refugees to migrate and get resettled in safer areas of the world. Many low-lying areas of Bangladesh will get submerged as a result of sea level rise caused by climate change. This will render many people to lose their homes, lands, and sustenance. The responsibility and cost of rehabilitating these climate refugees must be borne by the international community, since Bangladesh and MVC’s are not responsible for climate change.
To play the necessary and rightful role in the upcoming UN climate Change Conference in Doha, Bangladesh must carefully consider issues at hand, collect all relevant data and information, and above all, select a strong delegation comprising of experts who are passionate about the welfare of the country. BEN hopes that the delegation members will not misuse the opportunity to travel to Doha for sightseeing, shopping, and other personal purposes at the expense of effective participation in the conference proceedings.
Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) and BEN held a special conference on climate change in 2009 and adopted a detailed resolution offering recommendations about Bangladesh’s both domestic and international tasks. BEN hopes that Bangladesh government and members of Bangladesh delegation to Doha conference will make good use of this resolution and the volume containing papers and proceedings of the BAPA-BEN conference to prepare for the Doha Conference.
In the run up to Doha Conference, civil society and pro-environment organizations in Bangladesh are organizing discussion events and seminars. BAPA, in cooperation with other such organizations, convened one such important seminar on November 12, in which the country’s environment minister, Dr. Hassan Mahmud, was in attendance as the chief guest. (Click to read a news report on this seminar)
BEN hopes that discussions held in this seminar will play an important role to inform the policy makers and prepare them better to participate effectively in the Doha Conference.