BRITISH Foreign Secretary William Hague has described climate change as “perhaps the twenty-first century’s biggest foreign policy challenge.” It requires, in the words of the UN Charter, international cooperation “in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character.” Climate change is just such a problem and its impacts and costs fall disproportionally on developing countries such as Bangladesh. That is deeply unfair.
In her address at the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed the urgency for a “common commitment” to meet the emergency needs of “millions of households” whose lives are endangered “by increasing natural disasters, erosion of riverbanks and salinisation of rivers.” So it is only right that in Cancun last December, the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change reaffirmed the commitment from developed countries to mobilise $100 billion of climate finance a year by 2020, to address the adaptation needs of developing countries and help them to limit their carbon emissions.
In Bangladesh, UK has been supporting local efforts to tackle climate change for some time. We are a major funder of the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) — a multi-donor fund that supports the implementation of the Bangladesh government’s own Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan. The BCCRF is now open for business.
The Governing Council, which will approve projects under the fund, is meeting for the first time this week –an important milestone in Bangladesh’s climate change effort. If the fund can demonstrate results by making the lives of poor people more resilient to climate change, we are ready to increase our support over the next four years.
Along with other donors, UK also supports the government of Bangladesh’s Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP). CDMP helps ensure that communities and individuals throughout the country are better protected from events like floods and cyclones, and that Bangladesh is better able to manage the impacts of such disasters when they occur.
These commitments are part of a broader UK commitment to helping the poorest countries manage better the impacts of climate change. This is something we take very seriously. That is why the British government has allocated £2.9 billion to international climate finance for the period 2011/12 to 2014/15, to be administered through our recently established International Climate Fund (ICF).
We have three overall priorities for ICF funding, which we will deliver through both bilateral and multilateral channels in a way which maximises its impact and value for money:
To show that building low carbon, climate resilient growth at scale is both feasible and desirable;
To support adaptation in poor countries and help build an effective international framework on climate change;
To drive innovation, creating new partnerships with the private sector to support low carbon climate resilient growth;
The ICF will also fund the climate element of an Advocacy Fund to support the poorest countries to take part more effectively in international negotiations. This will be formally established later this year.
This UK funding will play an important role in helping to mobilise ambitious global action on climate change. But the UK is the only major donor so far to have made specific finance commitments up to 2015. More is needed to meet the Copenhagen commitment of $100 billion a year by 2020. We look to other donors too to make significant and ambitious financial pledges, and we look to business to play an important role, since we expect the target to be reached through a mix of public and private finance.
As the Stern Review in 2006 made it clear, the clock is ticking. With every passing year, the global cost of effective action to tackle climate change grows greater. The time to act is now. Source>>
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountain and climate related issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last two years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>