In a welcome shift from its previous administration which denied climate issues and thus undermined global efforts, the new US administration has not only brought the country back to the global climate agreement but also is leading the global efforts to fight back climate change. In this regard US President Joe Biden hosted a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22 and 23 and convened leaders from world’s most powerful countries to strengthen global efforts against climate change. This move is welcome because it reflects science-based understanding and also the need for concerted efforts.
Motivated by renewed efforts, most participating countries in the virtual summit including USA, Japan, South Korea and EU made new commitment to more or less halve carbon emission by 2030. The summit has also managed to draw commitment from China and Russia to cooperate on cutting emissions despite their rivalries with the United States. It is hoped that the world leaders would show the vision to deliver on their commitments and come up with a just and equitable agreement that supports carbon-free growth.Bangladesh, as one of the participants of the summit, rightly exploited the occasion to pressurize developed countries to cut down their carbon emissions. Speaking at the summit Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said immediate and ambitious action plan should be taken by developed countries to reduce their carbon emissions to keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 degree Celsius and the developing nations should also focus on mitigation measures. She also pushed for ensuring USD 100 billion climate fund, innovation and easier availability of clean technologies.
Overall, the summit came as an opportunity to persuade developed countries to reduce their carbon footprint and also to deliver on their promise regarding financial and technological assistance to developing countries. Bangladesh is one of the worst victims of climate change. In recent years we are witnessing a sharp rise in the temperature which has a direct bearing to the climate change. This rise in temperature is taking heavy toll on agricultural output this summer, while the country witnessed a few tropical cyclones and flood three times in last monsoon. So, this is about time the world made concerted efforts to cut carbon emissions.