Bangladesh statement on Climate Change at the 66th UNGA on 26 Sept 2011

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Hon’ble Presidents of Mexico and South Africa, Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Assalamu Alaikum and Good Morning

I would like to start by thanking the Presidents of Mexico and South Africa, for organizing this timely event to show a united front and join hands with all others seriously concerned to secure broad political support ahead of the next climate change conference, where binding commitment to our planet is needed.

Copenhagen rekindled our hope for consensus building on carbon emissions, while Cancun underscored that progress and kept the hope alive. At the end of this year Durban beckons us to act and deliver over these endless negotiations. Without further recrimination, it is time for us to exert all efforts to accept our own share of responsibilities.

While adaptation to climate change is of immediate priority, mitigation is the key to a green and a secure future. Therefore, the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy includes a 134 point adaptation and mitigation action plan. For immediate implementation of these plans, we have set up a Climate Change Trust Fund with US $ 300 million from our own resources. Already there has been encouraging progress in some areas. Of significance is afforesting 20% of our land mass to create a carbon sink.

Bangladesh is deeply concerned about the rise in sea level due to global warming, and the consequent displacement of people in the coastal areas. A one meter rise in sea level would submerge a fourth of Bangladesh, displacing over 30 million people. Such phenomenal dislocation of people would have an unimaginably devastating impact on development, social order and security of the country as well as the region. Therefore, we want to see an international framework being created, addressing climate change-induced displacement, including its internal and external dimensions.

I believe the source of the present and increasing global climatic turbulence is in excessive carbon emissions. Therefore, our sincerest hope is to see in Durban the much sought after legally binding agreement on carbon emission reduction. It is imperative to realize the commitments by industrialized countries to cut carbon emissions based on the principle of common and differentiated responsibilities. We would also like to see greater voluntary action by non-Annex-A parties of the Kyoto Protocol, based on equity.

As regards specific actions, we would like to see Durban offering the following:

(1). A global pact to face climate change challenges in the four recognized tracks of action – adaptation, mitigation, financing, and technology transfer.

(2). A balance between adaptation and mitigation to meet the present requirements as well as the priorities of the future.

(3). Concrete and robust support of the international community in the areas of transfer of technology for adaptation and mitigation actions.

(4). External support to vulnerable countries as they identify climate change related challenges and seek to convert them into opportunities for green development.

(5). Operationalization of the “Green Climate Fund” as soon as possible and provisions for compensatory grants through UNFCCC to meet the full cost of adaptation for most vulnerable countries.

I thank you.

Khoda Hafez.!
Joi Bangla! Joi Bangabandhu!
May Bangladesh Live Forever!