Dhaka wants youths in global fight on climate change: Momen

Publish: 6:46 PM, August 13, 2020 | Update: 6:46:PM, August 13, 2020

DHAKA,  – Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said Dhaka wants to involve the youths in Bangladesh’s global fight to get justice over the adverse affects due to the climate change.

“We want to see the young people in the global fight to achieve climate justice for Bangladesh,” he said while addressing a digital dialogue titled “Climate Dialogue on Young People Leading Coastal Resilience to Climate Change” and launching ceremony of ‘Coastal Youth Action Hub’.

The foreign minister said Bangladesh is committed to promoting young people’s innovations and solutions in building greater resilience to combat climate emergency with the recently declared special `Delta Fund’.

“I tell the youth to spread the information on climate change. Spread the science. The information and awareness about Climate Change and environmental impacts must reach all corners of society,” he said.

Momen said Dhaka hopes to reap the demographic dividend over the next couple of decades as majority of population is young and where youths are at the forefront of SDG implementation efforts.

“Our youths and especially the volunteers have been instrumental and inspirational in our efforts under our indigenous and tested strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in early warning of cyclone and emergency evacuation that has effectively reduced deaths and injuries from natural disasters,” he said.

Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said, Bangladesh has made tremendous achievements in involving and empowering the youth and Bangladesh’s development has become a role model for many other developing countries.

Today, in the context of the phenomenal global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and menace of climate change, Dr Momen said, the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is more important than ever.

Having the menaces of the COVID-19 and fast-aggravating climate change situation, the foreign minister said they are surely passing one of the most critical patches in the history of mankind.

“We need to be mindful that climate change and biodiversity loss would generate social and economic damage far larger than those induced by COVID-19,” Dr Momen said.

“Climate change is the most critical global challenge of our times,” he said, adding that Bangladesh would see an average temperature increase of 1.0 degrees Celsius by 2030 and 1.4 Celsius by 2050 considering 1990 as the base year.

By 2050, he said, one in every 45 people in the world and one in every seven people in Bangladesh will become displaced by climate change.

“I’m afraid, these developments are irreversible. We’re talking about adaptation measures, and Bangladesh has emerged as a global leader for adaptation,” said the foreign minister.

However, he said, there is a limit to adaptation and adaptation cannot be increased if the polluting countries do not adopt the necessary mitigation efforts.

“An effective engagement of the young people in our recovery plan will add great value,” Momen said.

Momen expected that this youth action Hub will create more opportunities for vulnerable coastal young people and amplify their voice at the global stage.

Convener of Climate Parliament Bangladesh Nahim Razzaq, MP, spoke as special guest at the virtual event.

PKSF chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmed, COP26 Regional Ambassador for Asia Pacific and South Asia Ken O’Flaherty, International Center for Climate Change and Development director Prof Dr Saleemul Huq, ActionAid Bangladesh Country Director Farah Kabir and British Council’s Inclusive Communities director Dr. Shahnaz Karim also joined the discussion, among others.