DHAKA, Bangladesh, September 22 (IPS) – Each year, low-emission countries like Bangladesh are the biggest losers and, paradoxically, pay the heaviest price in the losses and damages caused by climate change. caused by climate.
The most vulnerable communities are those that are facing the reality that the COP27 climate summit in Sharm-El-Shaikh is trying to prevent. According to the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Bangladesh is projected to suffer an average loss of $2.2 billion per year, or 1.5% of its GDP, from floods.
While the Center for Environmental and Geographical Information Services (CEGIS) estimates that in the past 40 years alone, climate change has cost Bangladesh $12 billion. This causes a 0.5% to 1% annual decline in GDP, predicted to reach 2% by 2050.
From melting glaciers to a ‘monster’ monsoon, record flooding has left a third of Pakistan’s area now underwater and climate catastrophe is altering monsoon patterns in South Asia, increase the mortality of floods.
The region as a whole accounts for a very small amount of carbon emissions, of which Pakistan and Bangladesh generate less than 1%, but it is a ‘climate crisis hotspot’, as the Secretary-General recently noted. United Nations António Guterres as well as in the Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Therefore, it seems fair that rich nations that pollute should pay climate compensation to vulnerable nations for their historical injustices.
Last year, I spent two weeks in Glasgow for COP26, hoping to bring positive news to the hardest hit communities. But sadly, it was a disappointment for all the marginalized when their voices were ignored during the summit. Although, at least, young people were recognized for the first time at the COP.
However, we young people still feel helpless and betrayed after COP26. Empty commitments, known as the Glasgow Climate Compact, will not protect our people from the global climate crisis.
Prioritizing adaptation, however, COP26 established a comprehensive two-year Glasgow – Sharm el-Sheikh work program on the global goal of adaptation. It contains an unprecedented ambition for developed countries to increase adaptation assistance to less developed countries by 2025.
Lack of accessibility and accountability
The adaptive community has contributed significantly, but mainly online and outside the negotiating room. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the inaccessibility of climate discussions for individuals in the Global South along with systemic barriers. The most disadvantaged and affected people should be allowed to participate in the COP process.
Especially since the solutions will not only come from conference rooms packed with experts, large businesses and government leaders, but they must also come from the ground up.
The world’s poorest people have the best resilience and indigenous knowledge to respond to crises. It’s a learning by doing. We don’t know what will work, but we have to try to adapt. Only people from vulnerable communities can teach the rest of the world about climate resilience.
This worldwide catastrophe is the result of a faulty economic model fueled by capitalism, European colonialism and the growing dominance of powerful men. Despite recognizing the disastrous consequences and possible remedies, the global community has yet to act fast enough to tackle the climate crisis.
We are experiencing the same global disaster, but we are not in the same boat. It’s like we’re on the Titanic and Global North is on a lifeboat. Millions of people are drowning in freezing water because the wealthy refuse to share, even though they are fully aware of the consequences. They can’t continue to do business as usual while cleaning up with empty climate summits.
An untapped resource: youth
The unprecedented mobilization of young people around the world for the global climate strike demonstrates the immense power they have to hold the world’s climate decision-makers accountable. .
Youth groups have previously demonstrated that they are capable of taking action and driving climate issues from the front lines to the headlines. As youth representatives from Bangladesh, we spoke on stage during COP26 to emphasize the need to make the COP accessible to young people and the need for actions that bring transformation for a sustainable future.
The participation of children and young people in climate action is still quite limited in our country. Young people on the front lines of disaster response and adaptation provide humanitarian assistance and lead adaptation initiatives as first responders. Bangladesh has just finished its second term as president of the Climate Vulnerable Countries Forum (CVF).
While Ghana appointed a youth ambassador before taking office as president, Bangladesh missed the opportunity for youth participation in CVF. However, it has at least committed to ensuring youth participation at COP25 by signing the Declaration on Climate Action by Children and Youth.
Bangladesh has labeled the Long Term Plains Plan (BDP 2100) – a master plan to integrate the activities of delta-related sectors across the country – a gift and protection for generations. future. But unfortunately, it is ignoring youth in the implementation process.
Bangladesh has emphasized youth participation in its National Youth Policy and National Adaptation Plan. However, successful measures to engage children and young people from the local, national and global levels have yet to be witnessed. The government did not allow young people to participate in the country’s negotiating and delegation processes.
Youth participation in climate action is an undeniable element of inclusiveness. Young people must be involved in decision-making processes and even in the implementation of climate policies, plans and projects in partnership with young people at all levels.
Youth have been playing their part, by convening regular discussions and lobbying, working closely with key ministries and parliamentary platforms such as the Bangladesh Climate Parliament to engaging young people to take the helm of climate action. Governments and other development partners must respond.
The need to include more
The upcoming COP27 must be more inclusive. A good start is that the annual pre-COP will include the Youth COP as well as the ‘#AccountabilityCOP’. But during the conference, there is a need for more young people to be represented in national delegations and meaningful participation in local, national and regional negotiations.
It must expand access to badges and finance for young people, especially those from the Global South, and allow observers to actively participate in the negotiations.
For now, we are concerned that COP27 will be worse than COP26. There have been requests that the venue be moved out of Egypt due to concerns about human rights violations as a result of the country’s limited civic space and lack of freedom of expression, association, and assembly. peace, as well as the persecution of gender-diverse groups.
Human Rights Watch has deemed Egypt’s COP27 presidency an ‘apparently poor choice.’
On the road to COP27, we young people will present our agenda and continue to advocate for effective results. If global leaders play less hypocritical games and invest more, then COP27 could be a breakthrough in climate justice for vulnerable peoples. To tackle this disaster, we advocate climate justice for everyone everywhere, this is the new frontier of human rights.
Sohanur Rahman is YouthNet’s Executive Coordinator for Climate Justice.
Source: International Politics and Society published by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s European and Global Policy Unit, Hiroshimastrasse 28, D-10785 Berlin.
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