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Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

'No More Survival of the Fittest,' Says Bangladeshi Delegate at COP27

The compensation is owed from the developed states as they are the ones mostly responsible for global warming and the least developed countries are only the victims, he said in an exclusive interview with The Business Post’s Mehedi Al Amin at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt on the sidelines of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27).

Moniruzzaman, a member of the Bangladesh delegation at COP27, said after accelerating climate change by continuing greenhouse gas emissions, if the developed countries leave the affected countries to fend for themselves, then “why did we form the United Nations, why do we claim ourselves civilized.”

“Survival of the fittest cannot be a theory in today’s civilized world,” said the additional secretary.

Bangladesh to seek justice, fulfillment of promises

Speaking about Bangladesh’s objective at the conference, he said “We are the most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. We are at risk. We joined the conference because we want to raise our voice.

“We are the worst sufferers even though we are not responsible for climate change by any means. Bangladesh emits only around 0.5 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“We expect the world will run [on a system] where justice will be seen everywhere.  Whoever causes the damages must pay the compensation," he added.

He said Bangladesh will also demand equal allocation of money in both mitigation and adaptation and the fulfilment of financing promises by developed countries.

Moniruzzaman said, “Last year we called for an equal allocation of the money for both mitigation and adaptation from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), according to the Paris agreement. But our demand was not met. This year again we will call for an equal distribution. The developed countries only give commitment but every year there is a shortage of $20-30 billion.”

About the financing for climate adaptation from polluter countries, “We will be asking for funding from public sources of polluter countries. Otherwise this funding will bind us with the new loan liabilities. Which can make us more vulnerable."

“Different multinational development banks like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank are coming with different business offers in the name of climate change funding. Generally, the interest rate on these is less than the other loans. That is why the developing and the least developed countries are taking those loans and putting themselves in grave danger of the debt cycle," he continued.

He said Bangladesh is seeking budgetary help, not new projects.

“A project needs years to get approval and by then the main objectives of the project changes,” he added.

He also pointed out the need for strict implementation of the National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) with money from polluter countries to make adaptation activities sustainable.

“The developed countries have to provide funding to implement NAPs formulated by the countries," he said.

He, however, warned that no good will come from adaptation activities unless carbon emission is reduced simultaneously in all countries.

“We are planning and implementing adaptation activities considering a 2 degree increase of global temperature by the end of this century. We are building structures thinking how much the sea level can rise due to 2-degree global warming. Now if the developed world does not mitigate their emission, the global temperature can rise even to three degrees. As a result the sea level will rise beyond our expectation,” Moniruzzaman said.

If such a disaster occurs, he said, “We will need to demolish all the existing infrastructure and rebuild those. That is why we are asking to do the mitigation activities accordingly.”

“Please, place the ambitious nationally Determined Contribution, and implement it,” he urged world leaders.

This story was produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. It was first published by The Business Post on 9 November and has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Banner image: World leaders listen to plenary speeches / Credit: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images.