Commit 2pc of GDP to climate finance each year: Civil society organisations

Budget 2022-23Porthom Alo illustration

Civil Society Organisation leaders on Sunday demanded at least 2 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) be diverted towards climate financing through the national budget every year, reports news agency UNB.

They also urged the government to include coastal infrastructure issues as a prioritised investment sector to achieve a sustainable and climate resilient economy.

The demands were made at a seminar jointly organised by COAST Foundation, CPRD (Center for Participatory Research & Development) and CDP (Coastal Development Partnership) at CIRDAP auditorium in the capital on Sunday.

Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu, MP, and the chair of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Fisheries and Livestock ministry attended the seminar as the chief guest, while the keynote paper was presented by Syed Aminul Hoque, Director of COAST Foundation.

Moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, executive director of COAST, the seminar was also addressed by Sharif Jamil, general secretary of BAPA (Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon), AHM Bazlur Rahaman, CEO of BNNRC (Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio & Communication), Md. Shamsuddoha, CEO of CPRD, Prodip Kumar Roy of CSRL, and Mesbah Uddin Ahmed of Jatiya Sramik Federation.

In his keynote paper, Aminul Hoque said that the government’s commitment to fight climate change has hardly been reflected in its declared national budget 22-23 financial year. The amount allocated Tk 30,531 crores as climate budget is very traditional and business as usual which is unable to fulfill the demand, he added.

He mentioned that the government has prepared Delta plan-2100, NDC 2030 (National Determined Contribution 2030), BCCSAP-2009 and recently drafted NAP (National Adaption Plan) that require around 2.20 per cent of GDP to implement, but current allocation is only 0.69 per cent.

Aminul Hoque put a few demands regarding climate financing issues included that the government must ensure at least 2 per cent of GDP as climate financing according to their strategic plans and real time implement, to include coastal infrastructure issues as one of the prioritised investment sectors and separate allocation for embankment construction.

In his speech, Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu, MP, said that climate financing is important and needs to increase for holistic and balanced development in socio-economic perspectives.

He demanded a separate ministry or board at least for coastal development issues.

Sharif Jamil said we don’t expect the growth of a few capitalists and thus achieving socio-economic sustainability hardly be possible ignoring the environmental issues. Government will have to think universal sustainability that would come from a balance planning of both economic, environment and climate change issues, he added.

Bazlur Rahaman said there have different problems and climatic challenges among the east coast, south-west and mid-coastal areas and planning should be developed accordingly.

He demanded special health care for vulnerable coastal women acute suffering with reproductive health.