Glasgow Calling on Cop26: A sheik up to the global consciencePublished by MAC on 2021-11-02
Source: ANI/Xinhua, Dhaka Tribune
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has come down heavily on the developed nations
Given the political climate in which Bangladesh’s current prime minister was conceived, and the blatantly corrupt military alliance nurtured around her, then Sheik Hasina’s appointment as prime minister in 2009 was neither unforeseen nor unpremeditated.
The internecine violence that quickly followed her grandfather Mujibur Rahman’s widely- heralded ascendancy as head of the country, came in the wake of the bloodiest, most calamitous internecine war, seeking to punish its “own” people, merely for daring to assert their indigenous reality. Her own rise to power was inevitable, albeit translated into commonly-held perceptions of what was socio-culturally necessary.
“Bangladesh is now known as the land of the largest non-governmental organisation (BRAC) and the largest microfinance institution (Grameen Bank)” recently announced the economist Professor Anu Mohammed of Jahanginagar University. Nonetheless, there was a distinct negativity to this, as he described it and which was observed by many others: “There has been very slow progress in poverty reduction... catastrophic destruction of environment and increase of inequality”, said Mohammed, attributing these phenomena to superimposition of neo-liberal economic orthodoxy, and the scourge wrought by capitalism.
It was quite predictable that Sheik Hasina would be groomed by her compatriots into an acceptable modus vivendi, a viable third world agent of 21st century post-imperialist uber-design, along with a suitably trained band of willing implementers. (How many such “servers” of southern Asia origin always stand ready to answer problems in our daily lives that are neatly tailored to be met by algorhythmic mechanisms: surely a truly hexo-graphic, self-perpetuated, resolution to our now deeply-seated pandemic way of thinking?).
However, in her constructive journey from accepting an all-too-familiar image of Bangladesh as a “basket nation”, fit for disaster rescue at best, and dissolution at worst, Sheik Hussain has apparently chosen an alternative way, owing as much as she can to the historical precedent of the country’s ideologists (like the philosopher poet Rabindranath Tagore) and doubtless to her own father, cut down by a coup d’etat in the prime of his own intellectual development.
As laid out in an essay for the London Financial Times, just before this week’s COP26 conference of ministers, appropriately beset by thousands of the “fourth estate” in the shape of a growing number of persons, refusing to meekly digest an unacceptable menu of palliative or counter-intuitive “ways forward”. Sheik Hasina has her fingers directly on the peoples’ pulse.
As represented by the membership of other vulnerable countries, she is the putative leader of a massive third of the world’s neediest poor, and most demonstrative ideas-rich. She seems willing to continue dealing with domestic issues, while rising above them, engaging in battle with newly-conceived enemies, self-promoted by patently false conceits. Whether she will succeed depends on where she now goes, and with whom she fixes fresh alliances.
One hopes that the childhood lessons, learned at her mother’s bosom, and nurtured by a father's revolutionary spiritual presence, may now prevail.
Written by Nostromo Research, London, 1 November 2021; Full permission granted to reproduce.
COP 26: National Statement by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
November 2nd, 2021
Bangladesh underscores four issues to tackle climate change and global warming.
Bangladesh has doubled its climate-related expenses in the past seven years and is now on the process of preparing a National Adaptation Plan to tackle climate change, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in the National Statement delivered at the COP 26.
Addressing the Leaders’ Meeting on Action and Solidarity – The Critical Decade in Glasgow on Monday, she said developed nations also need to support vulnerable countries by transferring green and clean technologies at affordable cost.
Following is the full statement by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Assalamu Alaikum, and a very good afternoon/evening to you all.
While contributing less than 0.47% of global emissions, Bangladesh is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries. To address this challenge, we established the “Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund” in 2009. We have doubled climate-related expenses in the last seven years. Currently, we are preparing the National Adaptation Plan.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Recently we submitted an ambitious and updated NDC. Bangladesh has one of the world’s most extensive domestic solar energy programs. We hope to have 40% of our energy from renewable sources by 2041. We have cancelled 10 coal-based power plants worth 12 billion dollars of foreign investment. We are going to implement the ‘Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan’- a journey from climate vulnerability to resilience to climate prosperity. We are trying to address the challenge of climate impact because of 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals or Rohingyas.
As the Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and V20, we are promoting the interests of the 48 climate-vulnerable countries. We are also sharing best practices and adaptation knowledge regionally through the South Asia Office of the Global Center of Adaptation’s Dhaka. On behalf of the CVF, Bangladesh is pursuing to establish a Climate Emergency Pact.
Let me end with following four points:
First, the major emitters must submit ambitious NDCs, and implement those.
Second, developed countries should fulfil their commitments of providing 100 billion dollars annually with a 50:50 balance between adaptation and mitigation.
Third, the developed countries should disseminate clean and green technology at affordable costs to the most vulnerable countries. The development needs of the CVF countries also need to be considered.
Fourth, the issue of loss and damage must be addressed, including global sharing of responsibility for climate migrants displaced by sea-level rise, salinity increase, river erosion, floods, and draughts.
October 20, 2021
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has come down heavily on the developed nations for climate "empty pledges" in the past decades.
She also made a plea to the world leaders "to turn pledges into action."
"If western leaders listen, engage and act decisively on what science demands of them, there is still time to make COP26 the success it desperately needs to be," she wrote in an article published by British daily The Financial Times Monday.
"The inconvenient truth of our times is that while action on climate change has never been more urgent and achievable, governments are not cutting emissions fast enough to keep nations such as mine safe," Hasina wrote in her article titled "Bangladesh PM: We need a global 'climate prosperity plan' not empty pledges."
She was critical of the western world ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, which is slated to be held in Glasgow, Scotland between Oct. 31 and Nov. 12.
The developed nations are not taking seriously the needs of the countries most immediately affected by climate change, she said.
In the north of Bangladesh, millions depend on fresh water stored every year in the Himalayan ice fields, "which warming air is now destabilising." In the south, sea level rise is exacerbating the threat from coastal flooding. Falling crop yields are another destructive change "we can anticipate", she said.
Earlier this year, Hasina said that her government cancelled plans for 10 coal-fired power plants but that was a relatively small step.
"Subsequently, with COP26 in view, we developed the world's first national 'climate prosperity plan' -- a vision under which we will enhance resilience, grow our economy, create jobs and expand opportunities for our citizens, using the action on climate change as the catalyst."
Under the plan, she said, they will obtain 30 per cent of energy from renewables by the end of the decade.
The plan is expected to simultaneously prevent up to 6.8 per cent of the economic damage that would otherwise come not only from climate change b ut also increasingly uneconomic fossil fuel infrastructure.
"I believe more developing nations will adopt such plans in the coming months and years, led by members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum," Hasina wrote.
"This year's COP26 summit in Glasgow is the best opportunity we will ever have to make one," she mentioned.
Although recent net-zero pledges from the European Union, the United States and others are welcome, she said that the 100 billion U.S. dollars per year finance pledge made 12 years ago remains unfulfilled.
"Nor is their repeated refusal to take seriously the needs of those nations most immediately affected. Agreement to support the poorest in dealing with the losses and damages caused by climate change is far removed from implementation," she continued.
"If developed nations wish to help they must address this. Cutting the cost of capital will substantially accelerate decarbonisation across the global south, yielding worldwide benefits."
"If western leaders can not see the logic of this, perhaps recent events in their own backyards will help - for what were the extreme forest fires seen in North America and Australia or Germany's recent lethal floods, if not alarm bells clanging in regions of the world most responsible for climate change?" she wrote.