Bangladesh can use COP-28 as a platform to strengthen regional collaboration on climate issues, fostering cooperation with neighboring countries in shared river basins and coastal regions.
In 2023, a year marked by a surge in the adverse effects of climate change, panic ensues as the frequency of disasters resulting from extreme weather becomes more common, exacerbating their impact each year.
It is imperative that world leaders realize the urgency of the situation and accelerate action to reduce carbon emissions. The upcoming Conference of the Parties 28 (COP28), scheduled for December in the United Arab Emirates, provides a crucial platform for decisive action. The hope is that world leaders will collaboratively take effective steps to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, recognized as the most powerful way to combat climate change-related disasters.
The initial commitment made at the Paris Climate Conference aimed to limit the rise in global temperatures to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately, significant progress toward this goal remains elusive, leading to continued temperature increases. Experts are warning of an impending dire situation unless strict measures are quickly implemented at the COP28 conference.
Repeated calls from climate experts underscore the urgency for world leaders to adopt immediate and drastic measures to reduce carbon emissions. They emphasize that the longer we delay action, the more costly and difficult it will be to adapt to the changes underway.
Every fraction of a degree of temperature counts, and acting quickly is both a practical necessity and a moral imperative to protect Earth’s people and ecosystems. The growing challenges posed by climate change make it the most significant threat to humanity and all living things. Failure to take effective action now could have even more devastating consequences, as evidenced by the increasing frequency of natural disasters.
International cooperation remains essential to confront this global crisis. COP meetings under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change provide essential platforms for countries to unite, share ideas and commit to mitigating climate change. COP-28 is of particular importance for Bangladesh, a country extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Expectations for COP-28 include a global commitment to ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Bangladesh, facing vulnerabilities such as sea level rise and extreme weather events, is seeking ambitious emissions reduction targets and clear timelines for achieving them. The country also expects increased financial support for adaptation measures, combating loss and damage caused by climate change, and fulfilling pledges from developed countries of $100 billion per year in climate finance.
COP-28 is expected to highlight the importance of developing climate-resilient infrastructure, focusing on protecting coastal areas, strengthening river banks and constructing resilient buildings and transport networks. Bangladesh should advocate for a comprehensive framework for climate-induced migration and displacement, taking into account the potential for displacement due to sea level rise.
Technology transfer and capacity building in developing countries, particularly Bangladesh, should be a priority. Access to advanced climate mitigation and adaptation technologies is crucial for sustainable development. Advocating for climate justice and equity is also essential, recognizing the historical responsibility of developed countries and reaffirming the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”.
Bangladesh can use COP-28 as a platform to strengthen regional collaboration on climate issues, fostering cooperation with neighboring countries in shared river basins and coastal regions. Advocating for a global climate insurance mechanism, sustainable agricultural practices and carbon pricing mechanisms is crucial, given the importance of agriculture to Bangladesh’s economy.
Active youth participation and public engagement in climate action are essential to boost local initiatives. Bangladesh’s expectations from COP-28 are rooted in the country’s urgent need to address the impacts of climate change and ensure a sustainable future. By actively participating in negotiations and promoting climate solutions, Bangladesh can play a central role in shaping the outcomes of COP-28, working towards a resilient future for its citizens and ecosystems in the face of climate change.
Dr. Matiur Rahman is a researcher and development officer.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Business Standard.