Developed countries should act immediately to reduce carbon emission: HPM Sheikh Hasina

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Published on April 22, 2021
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Developed countries should draw an immediate action plan to reduce their carbon emissions and keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said.

The developing nations should also focus on mitigation measures, Hasina said in her address to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, hosted by US President Joe Biden on Thursday.

An annual target of $100 billion should be ensured and balanced 50:50 between adaptation and mitigation measures with special attention to the vulnerable communities while pursuing loss and damage, Hasina suggested.

“Major economies, international financial institutions and private sectors should come forward for concessional climate financing as well as innovation and focus is needed on green economy and carbon-neutral technologies with the provision of technology transfer among nations.”

Hasina thanked Biden for convening the summit and appreciated the United States’ return to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Despite being a climate vulnerable country with resource constraints, Bangladesh has emerged as a global leader in adaptation and mitigation, Hasina said, highlighting that Bangladesh spends about $5 billion every year on climate adaptation and resilience-building measures.

The Rohingya refugee crisis, with 1.1 million members of the ethnic minority who have taken shelter in Bangladesh after being displaced forcefully from Myanmar, has however “worsened our vulnerability”, she said.

Now Bangladesh is pursuing a low carbon development path, the prime minister said.

To raise the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution, or NDC, and adaptation ambition, the government has included new sectors in addition to the existing energy, industry and transport sectors in the mitigation process.

It is planning to submit a “quantified ambitious” NDC by June 2021, according to Hasina.

She noted that the government is planting 30 million saplings nationwide and adopted “Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan” to achieve low carbon economic growth, as Bangladesh observes “Mujib Year”, marking the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

She also said that Bangladesh’s key focus is to uphold the interests of the climate vulnerable countries and it is hosting the South Asian regional office of the Global Centre on Adaptation which is promoting locally-led adaptation solutions.

BIDEN’S TARGET

The Biden administration on Thursday pledged to slash US greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels by 2030, a new target it hopes will spur other big emitter countries to raise their ambition to combat climate change, Reuters reports.

The goal, unveiled at the start of a two-day climate summit hosted by Biden, comes as the United States seeks to reclaim global leadership in the fight against global warming after former President Donald Trump withdrew the country from international efforts to cut emissions.

It also marks an important milestone in Biden's broader plan to decarbonize the U.S. economy entirely by 2050 - an agenda he says can create millions of good-paying jobs but which many Republicans say they fear will damage the economy.

The emissions cuts are expected to come from power plants, automobiles, and other sectors across the economy, but the White House did not set individual targets for those industries.

"No nation can solve this crisis on its own, and this summit is a step on a path to a secure, prosperous, and sustainable future," Biden said in a tweet minutes before the summit began.

The new US target nearly doubles former President Barack Obama's pledge of emissions cut 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Sector-specific goals will be laid out later this year.

How the United States intends to reach its climate goals will be crucial to cementing US credibility on global warming, amid international concerns that America's commitment to a clean energy economy can shift drastically from one administration to the next.

Biden's recently introduced $2 trillion infrastructure plan contains numerous measures that could deliver some of the emissions cuts needed this decade, including a clean energy standard to achieve net-zero emissions in the power sector by 2035 and moves to electrify the vehicle fleet.

But the measures need to be passed by Congress before becoming reality.

Biden focused on restoring US climate leadership during his campaign and in the first days of his presidency after Republican Trump, a climate change sceptic, removed the United States from the Paris agreement on global warming.

The new administration has come under heavy pressure from environmental groups, some corporate leaders, the UN secretary general and foreign governments to set a target to cut emissions by at least 50% this decade to encourage other countries to set their own ambitious emissions goals.

OTHER GLOBAL LEADERS
Besides Hasina, the leaders of China, India and nearly 40 other countries are expected to join Biden virtually, and the United States hopes that the announcement of its new emissions goal will galvanise other nations to step up their own targets by the time nations gather again under United Nations auspices in November in Glasgow, Scotland.

Reuters reported that Japan on Thursday raised its target for cutting carbon emissions to 46 percent by 2030, responding to pressure from the United States and domestic companies, along with environmentalists who criticised its previous goal of 26 percent as unambitious.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the new target, compared with 2013 emissions levels, hours before the start of the virtual summit on climate change called by Biden.

Other countries have also announced stronger action in the lead-up to the summit, with Britain pledging a 78 percent reduction by 2035.

UN climate scientists say the world's net CO2 emissions must fall to zero by 2050, to limit the rise in global temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels.

Exceeding that amount of warming would unleash the most severe impacts of climate change.