Climate change biggest threat to sustainable development: Hasan Mahmud

Information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud said Bangladesh will continue working to combat various environmental challenges, including climate change and biodiversity degradation by using innovative green technology and renewable energy through international and regional cooperation.

“Climate change has emerged as the biggest threat to sustainable development. Extreme temperature, erratic rainfall, floods and drought, intense tropical cyclones, sea-level rise, ocean acidification and such are causing severe negative impacts, particularly on the lives and livelihood of millions of people of the developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.

The minister said this while talking to a roundtable discussion titled ‘Green Opportunities and Global Challenges’ held at the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday afternoon, said a release received here today.

Several countries of EU and Indo-Pacific region, including Estonia, Maldives, Denmark and European Commission took part in the discussion.

Hasan Mahmud said, “Bangladesh, as a littoral country of the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean Rim, is ranked the 7th among the most vulnerable countries and it is an innocent victim to climate change though it contributes less than 0.47 per cent to global emissions.”

Highlighting various programmes taken by prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s government to overcome the situation, Hasan Mahmud said since 2010, Bangladesh has been implementing around 800 projects with a funding of 480 million US dollars from own resource-based Bangladesh Climate Trust Fund.

He also informed that the Bangladesh government has been working to ensure maximum use of renewable energy under Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan (MCPP) 2022-2041.

He said, “In COP 26, prime minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her desire to have 40 per cent of our energy from renewable sources. We have achieved the remarkable success of providing access to electricity to over 20 million people by installing more than 6 million solar-home systems - the largest of this kind in the world.”

The information minister said, “We are convinced that the European countries are global pioneers in renewable energy innovation and implementation. Bangladesh has responded positively to the invitation to join the EU’s Green Partnership.”

Bangladesh as well as other climate change vulnerable countries expects technical and financial cooperation, and investments from the developed countries, he added.

Hasan also told the roundtable that Bangladesh likes to work together with the EU and other Indo-Pacific countries towards unlocking the promised 100 billion US dollars by the developed countries, with a balance between adaptation and mitigation for beginning early operation of the Loss and Damage Fund.

After joining the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum, information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud held a meeting with Swedish foreign minister Tobias Billstrom on Sunday and discussed various bilateral issues.

During the meeting they discussed issues such as cooperation on the field of waste to energy production, green energy production from other sources, cooperation in the High Tech industry and ICT sector. They also discussed about climate issues and mutual assistance in this field.

Bangladesh ambassador to Sweden Mehedi Hasan was present at roundtable discussions and bilateral talks.