COP26 kicked off yesterday at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow. The whole world is watching closely to what extent their expectations of reducing climate vulnerabilities are met by the required actions.
One of the main attractions of the event is the World Leaders Summit, which will take place on November 1-2. A total of 120 world leaders will attend this year’s conference and deliver their speeches.
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Since the last COP (COP25), major changes in key political leaders have taken place in major global economies such as the United States and Germany. World leaders are expected to express their “out of the box” commitment to take action on climate change.
On November 1, a number of key world leaders will address the conference, including those from the United States, France, the European Council, the European Union, Canada, Japan, India and from several Asian countries.
Expectations of world leaders at the Summit
There are a number of expectations of world leaders which could be called “out of the box” and which should be reflected in their speeches. One of the main thrusts of this expectation is that the world’s major economies will make new commitments on climate change.
US President Joe Biden is expected to make a new pledge on climate finance if Congress accepts his “Build Back Better Plan” to spend $ 800 billion on climate and clean energy. Such mitigation funding would help develop a clean energy base in the United States and around the world.
Leaders of the G20 countries gathered in Rome just before the COP summit, and they are expected to make a new commitment. The G20 countries must rebuild their image by keeping their commitments.
While their commitment to helping developing countries access Covid vaccines made some progress, it was less than what had been committed.
The Group must release trillions of dollars of green money to finance the climate. The G20 countries must make a new commitment to stop providing funds for new coal projects, and must also gradually reduce the huge amount of subsidies for fossil fuels.
India, China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have fallen behind in delivering new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for 2030. Likewise, other major economies such as Mexico, Brazil and Australia did not keep their commitment as expected.
Given China’s recent stance on greening the Belt and Road Initiative, it is expected to further detail its plan at the summit. Indonesia, a major coal-producing country, has pledged to abolish it by 2040.
Expectations of the speech of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh
The Prime Minister of Bangladesh will deliver his speech at the Summit. She will receive special attention at the Summit given her commitment to tackling climate vulnerabilities both at home and as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum.
Mujib’s Climate Prosperity Plan, developed to shift Bangladesh’s trajectory from vulnerability to resilience and prosperity, should be given special attention.
The Mujib Prosperity Plan focused on four strategies: increasing economic growth by maximizing resilience through loss and damage financing through locally run adaptation centers; strengthening employment in a green economy by encouraging green investments for faster job creation, skills upgrading and heat protection of workplaces; (c) promote well-being and traditional life to take advantage of new technologies while protecting the environment; and guarantee energy independence and energy security with the aim of producing 30% renewable energy by 2030 and at least 40% by 2041 with resilience and modernization of the grid.
The Prime Minister reiterated her commitment to work for global temperature reduction through various initiatives both at home and abroad, especially in climate vulnerable countries. It will focus on all the key issues of COP26.
One of the major axes of his speech would be adaptation, in particular by reiterating the need for equity in climate funds in terms of the distribution between adaptation and mitigation. The issue of loss and damage would also be highlighted as Bangladesh is disproportionately affected by climate vulnerabilities which are increasingly exposed to floods, cyclones and river erosion.
The government’s recent decision to scrap 10 coal-fired power plants will also be reflected in the Prime Minister’s speech to show its commitment to reducing global carbon emissions.
The Prime Minister can announce his commitment ready for use. This could happen if the remaining coal-fired power plants are phased out. In this case, the Prime Minister can request technical and financial support from the Energy Transition Council.
Participation of the Bangladesh team in the preparatory process
Over the past few weeks, the Bangladesh team has actively engaged in the pre-COP discussion on various issues. A major commitment of the team was to provide informal inputs for working papers to be prepared by the Standing Committee on Finance.
The Bangladesh team provided written contributions on long-term funding issues.
This includes revising the various provisions of the Convention with a view to ensuring increased, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding for developing countries; ensure a balanced distribution between adaptation and mitigation; ensure that all funding for adaptation is of the grant nature; and address the challenges for LDCs due to the diversion of ODA to climate finance and the reduction in the overall flow of ODA.
Other inputs are: developing a clear path and trajectory for a new quantified resource mobilization target by 2025; recognizing that climate finance should be country driven based on adaptation and mitigation needs; ensure predictability and sustainability of funding and pay the contribution to the Green Fund on the basis of assessed contributions from developed countries; ensure consistency in the distribution of the climate fund between project and program funding; and assess the measurement, reporting and verification of climate finance to be provided by developed country Parties.
The above-mentioned issues are expected to gain attention in the discussion of long-term funding needs and to be reflected in the COP26 outcome document.
The authors are respectively the Research Director and a Senior Research Associate of the Center for Policy Dialogue.