DHAKA: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for "positive and robust" international climate coalitions to "effectively move towards carbon neutrality" within 2050.
Hasina made the remarks at the virtual Thimphu Ambition Summit: Momentum for A 1.5 degrees Celsius World on Wednesday, marking the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate deal.
In her pre-recorded speech, the premier blamed the adverse impact of climate change for making millions of people climate refugees.
She said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has taught the world that the "only way to combat a global crisis is through strong collective response".
The summit was organised by Bhutan, the chair of the LDC Group in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The speakers included Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, COP26 President Alok Sharma and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa.
Hasina urged that multi-lateral development banks and international financial institutions should come forward for "more vigorous" provision of climate financing through concessional finance and debt relief and ensure the access to technology for all.
Moreover, extreme weather events are already displacing many more people than violent conflicts. "Therefore, the 'loss and damage' provision should be mainstreamed. Likewise, relocation and protection of displaced persons need due focus global discourses to ensure their protection."
She recalled that the world leaders have agreed a target to keep the global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius during the COP-21 climate summit in Paris.
"We must admit that our current efforts to achieve that target are highly inadequate.
"As such, we need a forceful, dynamic and rapid action plan to limit the global greenhouse gas emission to save us and our planet," Hasina added. The premier described South Asia as the most vulnerable region to climate-induced natural disasters. Millions of people will become climate refugees in coastal and small island countries if sea level rises by a meter, she noted.
Glacial lake outbursts, cloud outbursts or heavy rains will bring catastrophic impacts on Himalayan countries like Bhutan, Nepal and parts of India, Hasina said.
Although Bangladesh has no contribution to global warming, she said, limited coping capacities and specific geographical features has made it one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change.
Citing the Asian Development Bank's prediction, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh would face annual economic cost equivalent to 2 per cent of its GDP by 2050 and up to 9.4 per cent by 2100 if emissions continue at current rates.
"I'm sure that it is true for all other LDCs and climate vulnerable countries." The Prime Minister described the "excellent adaptation and mitigation" efforts of her government to enhance Bangladesh's climate resilience. (IANS)