Monday, 6 February, 2023

‘Development partners should support LDCs’ climate actions’

  • Special Correspondent
  • 20 December, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Development partners should strongly and decisively support the climate change-related actions and ambitions of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs), said speakers at a workshop.

They said that the developed countries should deliver on the $100 billion finance per annum that they had promised to provide to the countries hit by climate change.

The workshop on “UNCTAD LDC Report 2022: Implications for Bangladesh” was organised by the Support to Sustainable Graduation Project (SSGP) of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) in Dhaka on Monday.

State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam was present as the chief guest. UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis attended as the guest of honour, with ERD Secretary Sharifa Khan in the chair.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) annually publishes a report on issues pertaining to the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

This annual report provides a comprehensive and authoritative source of socio-economic analysis and data on the LDCs.

This year’s UNCTAD LDC report, which was published on November 3, had been themed on “The low-carbon transition and its daunting implications for structural transformation.”

The report noted that although the LDCs had barely contributed to climate change, they were on the front lines of the climate change crisis.

The report also observed that although LDCs had set ambitious emission-reduction targets for themselves, international support for adaptation and sustainable development of LDCs had so far fallen remarkably short of what is needed, both in terms of climate finance and access to environmentally-sound technologies.

In this context, the workshop aimed to discuss and analyse the significance of the theme and findings of the UNCTAD report this year in the context of Bangladesh.

Speaking on the occasion, State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said that Bangladesh continues to seek a 50-50 distribution between adaptation and mitigation from international climate financing.

He also asked the partners from the international public and private sector to join in Bangladesh’s climate change related efforts in the spirit of the Paris Agreement.

ERD Secretary Sharifa Khan, in her keynote presentation, identified inadequate and complex financing mechanisms as one of the major challenges towards Bangladesh’s green transition.

“Bangladesh spends over $1 billion while receiving only $ 417 million from the Green Climate Fund,” she said. Noting that transition to climate resilient technology is costly, she said, “The development partners are more interested in financing mitigation measures while providing less attention to adaptation.”

UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis said, “While emission reduction cannot be the primary goal of LDCs including Bangladesh, the country can and should reap every co-benefit of developing its economy along a low-carbon pathway.”

Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Iqbal Abdullah Harun, Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute Dr Ahsan H Mansur, Chief of the LDC Section of UNCTAD Dr Rolf Traeger and Director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Mr.Asif Ashraf also spoke during the event.

Speakers at the seminar called for simplifying the access to climate financing as well as cheaper access to relevant technologies.

Farid Aziz, Additional Secretary of ERD and Project Director of SSGP, delivered the welcome address of the event.

Stakeholders from public and private sectors as well as research organisations participated in the workshop.