Statement by Mr. Andalib Elias, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to UN at the High-Level Event on Climate Change
organized by the President of the United Nations General Assembly UNHQ, 30 June 2015
Thank you, Madam Vice President, for giving me the floor.
We would also like to put on record our sincere thanks to His Excellency the President of United Nations General Assembly for organizing this important event.
Mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation for actions to address the issue of climate change is one area where the urgency simply cannot be emphasized more. I believe most of the people present in this room are aware that Bangladesh will probably be the largest victim of sea-level rising in terms of number of people affected, as it is one of the, if not the, most densely populated countries in the world, a fact further weighted by the statistic that it is one of the least developed countries of the world.
Mitigation is one area where we, the climate vulnerable countries cannot do anything significant, as we definitely are not one of the polluters. On this point, we are deeply appreciative of the view expressed by His Holiness Pope Francis. We also acknowledge the steps taken by some national governments to reduce their carbon emissions. But, that is really not enough. We need sincere actions by all major carbon emitting countries to have any meaningful improvement of the scenario.
Madam Vice President,
People of Bangladesh are known globally for their resilience. The disaster management models of Bangladesh are studied and replicated in many countries of the world. Bangladesh has not been sitting idle, waiting for the bleak picture to realize. We have already established two funds with 385 million US dollars put into it by the national government, which is a significant amount, at least significant in terms of our national budget, for resilience building and adapting to climate change. We now have more than 3.2 million solar home systems, 1.2 million improved cook stoves. Unfortunately, we are yet to see our development partners share the burden with us. The Green Climate Fund, where we put high emphasis, needs meaningful funding and operationalization.
Madam Vice President,
The mass migration due to climate change will not be a national issue, it will be a trans- national, trans-continental issue. We are afraid that migration due to climate change is going to be a reality, and when it happens, it must be migration with dignity. As was suggested recently in a very interesting article, may be the country which emit x% of global carbon pollution should receive and rehabilitate that percentage of migrants victim to climate change. One can imagine the burden that will then befall on that polluter country. And, furthermore, we are talking not only about adaptation, but also how to compensate for the loss and damage.
Finally, we are talking about next 15 years when we are negotiating the post-2015 development agenda. If we do not act immediately, it will not really be a development agenda, because the most vulnerable people will be left behind. If we do not act now, the development agenda will be replaced by survival agenda and maintaining social order agenda. If we want COP21 to succeed, we have to push hard, push with heart, and push together.
Thank you, Madam Vice President.