Remarks on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries by H.E. Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, at the High-Level SDG Action Event “Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Agenda” (New York, 23 March 2017)
Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished Panelists,
- I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries. We align ourselves with the statement delivered by Ecuador on behalf of G77.
- At the outset let me express my appreciation to the President of the 71st UN General Assembly for convening this event and to Ms. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, for highlighting the need to accelerate the political momentum for climate actions.
- Climate change poses exorbitant challenges to the survival of our societies, countries and peoples. The latest IPCC Assessment Report paints a grim picture of increased climate impacts for LDCs in the coming years, including increasingly severe tropical storms, droughts and floods.
- LDCs are disproportionally exposed to the effects of environment degradation, natural hazards and climate change, to which they contributed very little with a constant CO2emissions per capita at 0.2 per cent. Because of the limited adaptation and mitigation capacities, their agriculture, ecosystems, health and physical infrastructure are likely to be seriously affected. The LDCs, that are low-lying and small islands, are the most exposed to these shocks. It aggravates the development challenges that the LDCs have been facing due to their serious structural handicaps. In this backdrop, we are happy that the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda stress on providing special support to the LDCs with regard to combating climate change impacts.
- The Paris Agreement of COP21 generated unprecedented hope and momentum. It gave clear pathways and a final destination with an international collaborative framework on climate challenge. The Marrakech COP22 had built on this momentum, and all nations are working towards strengthening the global response with the central focus on enhancing ambition, promoting implementation and providing support. You have aptly underscored the linkage between climate actions and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. The success of the 2030 Agenda will largely depend on the implementation of all the commitments and obligations adopted in the Paris Agreement, including in relation to mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation.
- To that end, the pre-2020 ambition must be enhanced and the ratification of the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol must be completed, which will provide a strong basis for post-2020 efforts under Paris Agreement. We need to adopt without further delay measures to keep the global average temperature to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels.
- While implementing the Paris Agreement, our actions must reflect balance between adaptation and mitigation. Millions of people in low lying coastal areas are going to lose their livelihood in the coming years and will be on the move, posing a very serious problem not only for our countries, but for the international community as well. That is why adaptation efforts are so important for many LDCs. In that regard, access to climate financing is crucial, as none of the LDCs do not have the national capacity to implement the adaptation efforts on their own.
- Climate finance must be scaled up to meet the $100bn target and then move beyond this floor. Simplified access and support for LDCs will be critical for the implementation of climate action. In particular, we must ensure adaptation support is provided, especially from predictable public sources. The LDC Fund is critical for our Group and urgently needs additional resources to support LDCs. We also emphasize that the importance of support to progress the formulation and implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) through simplified access to GCF funding.
- Along with adequate, predictable and sustained finance, technology and capacity-building must be ensured to assist the least developed countries in their efforts to combat climate change and achieve sustainable development. Further work needs to be done to achieve enhanced participation by women and gender responsive climate actions in our countries. We believe that development of an action plan that identifies and prioritizes measurable and achievable objectives with monitoring targets and adequate resource allocation will strengthen the work on gender.
- Development and climate change are correlated. Many LDCs including Bangladesh are losing around 2% of its GDP due to the climate change impacts. Hence, the achievement of the goals under the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development remains uncertain if we fail to recognize the importance of climate actions collectively. Many LDCs have been making commendable efforts to tackle climate change on their own. Nonetheless, we expect that our development partners would extend their support to us as envisioned in the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.
- Allow me to say a few words in my national capacity. Bangladesh, an extremely climate vulnerable country, has been putting great emphasis on the implementation of the Paris outcome, and it is among the first group of countries that signed and ratified the Paris Agreement. Before Paris Conference, we put forward our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) with quantified emissions reduction commitments although Bangladesh is one of the least emitters in the world. After submission of Bangladesh’s INDC to the UNFCCC and ratification of Paris Agreement, our INDC has become ‘Bangladesh’s Nationally Determined Contribution or NDC’. We are going to finalize our NDC Implementation Roadmap together with Sectoral Mitigation Action Plans by April 2017. We will also complete nationwide Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) as well as review and update our national climate change strategy and action plan. Bangladesh, on its own, has been taking several steps for adaptation. The government has set up two specific funds – the first is the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund, where the government has already allotted 400 million dollars from domestic resources. The second fund is the Bangladesh Climate Resilience Fund with support from development partners. The Government is making sincere efforts to mobilize resources to implement our NDC in collaboration with international NDC Partnership.
- We have mainstreamed climate actions in our national development plans and have taken steps to strengthen capacities of the relevant ministries, agencies and divisions to prepare and implement adaptation and mitigation projects as per our commitments made to the international community.