COP27 will be futile if developed countries do not pay compensation: DNCC Mayor

Publish: 9:58 PM, November 16, 2022 | Update: 9:58 PM, November 16, 2022
Dhaka North City Corporation mayor Md Atiqul Islam speaks at the discussion ‘A Matter of SCALE: Sub-national Action for Climate Ambition’ organized by the U.S. Center in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Tuesday (November 15) afternoon. Photo: collected

Atiqul Islam, Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), said, It is time to work than talk. Developed countries are not providing support for us to face climate disasters in any way. If they do not pay compensation and provide the necessary support to the developing and affected countries, this year’s COP27 conference will be in vain.

He said, “We have to work heart-to-heart, not hand-to-hand. A fraction of the money spent on weapons in wars around the world can be spent on the environment. Then we can give a healthy environment to the next generations.

He said this in the discussion ‘A Matter of SCALE: Sub-national Action for Climate Ambition’ organized by the U.S. Center in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Tuesday (November 15) afternoon.

Urging everyone to work together to save cities and their people, Atiqul said, “People continuously come to cities and make life tough there as a consequence of climate change. Ensuring housing, drinking water supply, sanitation, waste management and healthcare for them, every empty space in the cities, especially, green spaces and water bodies being used. Urban poverty is on the rise. Climate change disasters will continue to increase if immediate action is not taken.”

“We must be united to combat the adverse effects of climate change. There are only 8 climate conferences left before 2030. Now is the time to talk. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have to be reduced to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius according to the Paris Agreement. And countries that are taking action should be supported and assisted.”

Expressing disappointment Mayor Atiqul said, “Bangladesh is one of the countries most vulnerable and affected by climate change despite emitting a very small amount of greenhouse gas. Bangladesh emits an average of 0.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide per person a year whereas developed countries are emitting 20 to 30 times more, e.g. the USA emits 15.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide which is 30 times more than Bangladesh. However, Bangladesh will lose about 17 percent of its total land by 2050 due to sea level rise. So, developed countries have to take action now.”

Pointing out that developed countries must pay compensation, DNCC Mayor said, “Our crops are being wasted due to environmental damage. Marginal farmers become destitute due to natural calamities. Developed countries are harming us by emitting more and more carbon. Saline water accumulates in the land and destroys crops.” This is why he thinks we need crop insurance. He demanded developed countries have to pay the insurance money.

He said, “PM Sheikh Hasina was the Chairperson of the City of Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). She asked for urgent global action to face climate change and its impacts. She asked developed countries at COP26 to take responsibility and fulfill their commitment to provide financial assistance of $100 billion annually.”

“Bangladesh is working to fight against climate change effects by formulating short, mid and long-term plans under the supervision of PM Sheikh Hasina. We have found success in dealing with disasters and have significantly reduced the number of deaths and damage. A massive housing project called ‘Climate Resilient Shelter for Displaced People’ has been undertaken. It is one of the world’s largest housing projects for climate refugees. Under this project, 139 five-storey buildings with modern facilities have been constructed to resettle 4 thousand 409 climate refugee families. The project includes planting 1.5 million trees, rainwater harvesting, solar power system etc.”- he said.

He said that DNCC is committed to make Dhaka city more inclusive and livable.

Stating ‘Climate Justice is what we need and deserve the most’, Atiqul Islam suggests, “We have to focus on most importantly 3 issues: at least 50 percent of the total climate fund should be allocated to vulnerable and affected cities like Dhaka, relocation of climate refugees from affected and vulnerable areas to safe places and providing them with dignity, and support should be provided for job creation and skill development for climate refugees.