Bangladesh seeks $69bn in climate grants
Meer Saiful Islam, from Paris

Bangladesh has sought $69 billion in grants from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) until 2030, to implement its emissions reduction and climate change adaptation plans, as the COP21 finance negotiations entered a critical phase.

Forest and Environment Secretary Dr Kamaluddin Ahmed put forward the demand at a presentation on the country’s climate plan – known as the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) – on the third day of the global climate conference in Paris, France.

The grant was sought as climate finance negotiations entered a decisive turning point as the United States and its allies proposed that developing countries also contribute to the fund. 

Some 185 out of the total of 195 countries attending had so far submitted their INDC plans. Conference president Laurent Fabius termed the massive participation an “unprecedented and historic” response.

Manju-COP21Forest and Environment Minister Anwar Hossain Manju with former US Vice President Al Gore at COP21

Bangladesh said $42bn of the amount sought would be spent on adaptation measures and the remaining $27bn on mitigation.

“You [the rich countries] have made the climate vulnerable for us over the last two centuries, and we are now facing the impact,” Forest and Environment Minister Anwar Hossain Manju told reporters after the meeting on Wednesday night, explaining why countries like Bangladesh need enhanced funding.

“We need the funds to protect us from the risks of climate change impacts,” he said.

Earlier, the minister had told the Dhaka Tribune that Bangladesh’s strategy would be to get as much funding as possible to implement ongoing and future projects related to climate change. 


Read More: Manju prioritises adaptation over mitigation


Bangladesh informed the meeting on INDCs that the country was not sitting idle and had already spent around $10 billion over the last three decades. The country had formed a $400 million Climate Trust Fund of its own to implement 236 projects, including 40 that have already been implemented.  

The implemented projects include the building of embankments, cyclone shelters, re-excavation of canals, innovation of saline water-resilient seeds, aforestation and the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Closed-door negotiations on financing remained uncertain as the US and its allies now want developing countries to contribute to the GCF too.

A negotiator who was present at the meeting said the Umbrella grouping had adopted the strategy of bypassing their responsibility as polluters – going against agreed upon United Nations principles.

In accordance with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), developed countries pledged to provide funds to poor countries to help them reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. They committed in 2009 to annually give $100 billion by 2020. 

“This is just to delay the talks or to put the finance text under brackets,” said the negotiator, explaining that the developed countries were hoping to leave certain planks of the text subject to further discussion.

The ADP co-chair held a presentation on the ADP yesterday when the US negotiator said they prefer to have the agreement as an encouragement instead of a legally binding one.

How the negotiations are playing out

On day three of the COP21, negotiators were seen getting down to business as the talks got down to brass tacks. Parties continued their discussions mainly in closed-door spin-off groups throughout the day and into the evening but with limited progress across many issues.

A Wednesday evening stock-taking meeting of parties with the COP president, Laurent Fabius, saw the French foreign minister laying out his views on the state of negotiations and the steps required to help parties move further and faster.

There were calls for bridging proposals from the parties and Fabius emphasised the no-surprises approach he was taking to the talks.

Consultations will now begin with all of the parties, led by senior French officials and former UNFCCC executive secretary Michael Zammit Cutajar, that will focus on four issues – the format of the text, the key issues, the transparency of the process and the timeline.

Progress in the talks will be reported to Fabius by the end of the week, who will then make a proposal to the parties on how he intends to proceed with negotiations in week two.

With just over 48 hours left to find a way through the maze of text, negotiators have their work cut out for them.

All of the parties have pledged their support for an ambitious deal and well know what such an outcome needs to contain: a long-term goal, a deal on finance, a ratchet mechanism and rules.

Over the remainder of the week what they need to find are the critical missing ingredients – a sense of urgency and the willingness to actually negotiate. 



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