USA’s exit not halt climate change mitigation : Momen

DHAKA, July 8, 2019 : Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen today said the US government’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation will not halt global campaign on climate adaptation initiatives as all other countries are with it.

“Not everything is closed as USA quits …. only one country exited but all others are with it … even if the US government left, 79 percent of the US people believe climate change is a big issue and their government should take initiatives,” he said while speaking at a press briefing at foreign ministry here.

The foreign minister said he believes that the USA government had withdrawn itself from Paris Agreement for a while. “We hope they (USA) will join again (Paris Agreement) as their citizens want it,” he added.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister M Shahab Uddin and Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) of Prime Minister’s Office Md Abul Kalam Azad also spoke at the briefing organised ahead of the “Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation”, to be held on Wednesday.

Marshall Island President Dr Hilda Heine, former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank CEO Dr Kristalina Georgieva are scheduled to arrive here tomorrow to attend the meeting to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

During their stay here, the international dignitaries will also visit Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar to see environmental degradation due to influx of Rohingyas here.

“We would like to show the global leaders (involving in climate change mitigation efforts) how our environment is being affected due to huge influx of Rohingyas,” Abul Kalam Azad said.

He said Bangladesh needs global support to recover the affected environment of Cox’s Bazar due to Rohingya makeshift settlement here. “It will be easy for us to get international support in this regard, when the global leaders see the situation of their own,” he said.

During the meeting, Bangladesh will showcase its good practices on climate change adaption initiatives like water resilience crops, home solar system and climate trust fund.

The meeting will prepare a set of recommendations on climate change adaptation for placing it before the UN in September next.
Momen said hosting of this kind of high level international meeting will strengthen Bangladesh’s global image in facing the adverse affects of climate change.

The Marshal Island President will arrive in the early hours of Tuesday while Ban Ki-moon in the afternoon. They will be received by foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the one-day meeting on Wednesday morning at Hotel InterContinental where Ban Ki-moon, the current chair of Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), will address a session titled “Way forward and next step towards climate change adaptation”.

Before the inaugural session, Premier Sheikh Hasina will hold a meeting with the Marshall Island President and the former UN chief at the same hotel to discuss various issues related to climate change adaptation efforts.

In the opening session of the meeting, Dr Hilda, Ban Ki-moon and World Bank CEO Dr Kristaline Georgieva, who is also CGA CO-Chair, will speak apart from the Bangladesh prime minister while foreign minister Momen will deliver the welcome address.

The meeting will end at noon with the remarks of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister M Shahab Uddin.

Different sessions titled ‘community dialogue’, ‘action tacks – mobilizing accelerated adaptation and support’, and ‘mobilizing a global audience – communication tools and events’ will take place after the inaugural session.

The Marshal Island president, Ban Ki-moon and World Bank CEO will visit Rohingya camps as well as Khrushkul Special Asrayan Project at Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar in the afternoon, sources said.

Foreign Minister Momen will host a dinner for the dignitaries at Hotel InterContinental in the evening.

On Tuesday, the Marshal Island president will attend a preparatory meeting at the same venue to discuss various issues including accelerating adaptation action and support from Bangladesh and around the world.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change minister M Shahab Uddin, CEO of Global Commission for Adaptation centre Dr Patrick V Verkooijen, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Manish Bapna and CGA Commissioner and Executive Director of BRAC Muhammad Musa will also attend the preparatory meeting.

Both Dr Hilda and Ban Ki-moon will leave Dhaka in the early hours of Thursday while the foreign minister will be present at the airport to see them off.