Bangladesh Seeks $10b To Tackle Climate Change
15 May 2012
Environment and Forests Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud sought US$10 billion as grant from the donors and development partners of Bangladesh to successfully tackle the adverse impacts of climate change.
The minister said the amount is needed for the protection of the country's existing infrastructure as the densely populated nation will be affected by all negative factors of climate change.
"Some of the negative factors like salinity intrusion, droughts, sea level rise, increase in intensity of flash floods, cyclone and storm surges have started taking place here," Mr Mahmud told the participants at a national consultation at a city hotel Monday.
Asian Development Bank (ADB), Government of the United Kingdom (UKaid) and the Environment and Forests Ministry of Bangladesh have jointly organised the event on Regional Economics of Climate Change in South Asia.
"Climate change is a reality of the country although we have not caused it," he said, adding that hundreds of cultivable lands remained uncultivated due to salinity intrusion caused by the global warming.
He said the donors and development partners should come up with the financial assistance to help the globe's most vulnerable country affected by the adverse impact of the climate change maintain its economic momentum to continue in the days to come.
The minister informed that the government has allocated US$100 million in last three years to various ministries and departments to address the problems.
The government has taken lots of initiatives but could not achieve significant progress due to resource constraints, the minister said, adding that the issue has already taken a heavy toll on the country's growth.
"Bangladesh's economy could have grown at a rate of 8 per cent last year but it was reduced to 6.7 per cent due to climate change impact," he added.
"We don't have much rain but are affected by regular floods due to deforestation in Himalayan region. Regional cooperation is needed in this regard," he said.
Bangladesh has long been seeking such finance as the developed nations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference at Cancun in Mexico in 2010 committed to providing climate finance of around $30 billion for 2010-12, with a goal of $100 billion by 2020.
The rich countries were held responsible for their role in emitting high rate of carbon causing global warming and the least developed countries (LDCs) like Bangladesh have become its victim.
ADB country director Teresa Kho said they have been working with UKaid and other development partners on adaptation and impact assessment of climate change in the Asia region specifically in South Asia.
She mentioned that Bangladesh's economy has been roaming over the last one decade, saying that against the backdrop of achievements in the field of socioeconomic context, Bangladesh faces several challenges to maintain the growth momentum through alleviating poverty.
The challenges are energy, infrastructure, obstacles to access to development finance and climate change.
"Overcoming the obstacles, it will not be easy going for the nation to maintain the growth in the era of climate change," the country director of Manila-based institution said.
"ADB is committed to assisting the region through sharing transparent knowledge to address the problems posed by the climate change," she said at the national consultation after stressing on the importance of regional cooperation regarding the issue.
The ADB country chief also said the initiative will help the South Asian countries enrich knowledge and practices for addressing the difficulties of climate change.
Deputy Head of Department for International Development (DFID) Diana Dalton also spoke on the occasion.
SOURCE: The Financial Express
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