EU Commitment Seen As Not Enough
Saturday, 12 December 2009

The EU's climate fund commitment is not enough, Bangladesh's state minister for environment said Saturday in Copenhagen.

The European Union on Friday made a commitment of 10 billion euro over three years to the climate adaptation fund being negotiated in Copenhagen, through which rich nations are expected to assist poor and vulnerable countries.

But state minister Hasan Mahmud said the EU did not clarify whether their commitment was in addition to Official Development Assistance (ODA).

"We (vulnerable countries) are talking about contribution in theregion of 1.5 percent of GDP by Annex 1 countries (industrialised nations) to the adaptation fund. If we see this, it will create a $400 to $600 billion fund," he told newsmen at the Bella Conference Center on the 6th day of the climate talks in the Danish capital.

"We think this proposal (of the EU) is not enough to raise the total $400-600 fund for adaptation."

"We are firm in our demand," he added.

The state minister stressed the demand by poor/vulnerable nations for a distinct climate fund, which should be in addition to existing ODA. This fund should not be managed by financial institutions like IMF and World Bank, he added.

"A separate institution that will be easily accessible and more transparent has to be created," he said.


Hasan also said 70 percent of any fund should be allocated to least developed or most vulnerable countries, and 15 percent to Bangladesh alone.

"More than one billion people are vulnerable to climate change across the world."

Hasan said Bangladesh has taken an initiative to form a new group of most vulnerable countries (MVCs).

"Already, we have communicated with such countries. A total of 20 countries may be brought under the new group," he added.

He said G-77 or LDCs in terms of economic development are recognised by the UN.

"We are trying to do something similar for climate change and get UN recognition," he said.

"It is necessary to form a new group of the vulnerable countries for better negotiation," he argued.


However, Hasan stressed, Bangladesh was the most vulnerable country, topping a Global Climate Risk Index.

"Fifteen percent of the 1 billion most vulnerable people are in Bangladesh. So, 15 percent of the adaptation fund must go for Bangladesh. It is our demand".

"Bangladesh is affected by almost all the negative impacts of the climate change such as sea level rise, and extreme weather. The total number of affected people would be much higher than all the small island countries," he said.

Earlier in the day, a Dhaka delegation organised an open discussion, on the sideline of the conference, titled Bangladesh: Victim of Climate change.

Climate expert Dr. Ainun Nishat dwelt on the impact of climate change on food and agricultural production, water management, health and infrastructure.


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