US should keep promise of $100bn green climate fund: Speakers

Published: 07 Apr 2021     Updated: 07 Apr 2021

Online Desk

The discussants at a virtual press conference on Wednesday urged the Biden administration to stop pushing LNG and other dirty fossil fuel finance and technology supply in Bangladesh. 

The virtual press conference titled “People2Biden” was organized by the Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (BWGED), a forum of climate and development activists, and progressive NGOs all over Bangladesh.

John Kerry, the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, will be visiting Bangladesh on Friday, to officially invite Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the “Leaders summit on Climate”, scheduled to be held on April 22-23 which will be hosted by President Biden.

Environmentalist Syeda Rizwana Hasan, also chief executive of Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (BELA), said, “We demand climate justice. Those who are responsible for destroying our planet should make the amends with a sense of urgency”. 

She hoped that Biden’s Climate Summit would be able to produce positive results compared to the previous records of the US on climate. 

“Our demand, mitigation should be the first priority for both developed and developing nations. We [Bangladesh] shouldn’t take the double standard. Fossil fuel projects should be stopped everywhere immediately in the world”, she added.

Hasan Mehedi, member secretary of BWGED, presented the six-point demand at the press conference, saying that, “The US has to fulfill the pledge of $100bn through the green climate fund for adaptation and mitigation for developing countries. They should also be the global role model by enhancing its NDC.”

“Moreover, US public and private financial institutions, capital market and technology suppliers have to stop fossil fuel finance, investment and development in Bangladesh. Instead, they should be investing and financing to promote clean renewable energy.”

The United States is one of the top carbon emitters, accounting for 15% alone globally. They are the all-time biggest greenhouse gas emitter cumulatively since the 1750 industrial revolution. US banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi and Bank of America are the world's four biggest lenders to the fossil fuel industry since the Paris Climate Agreement. 

M Shamsuddoha, Executive Director, Center for Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD), demanded an ambitious and enhanced NDC from the US, mentioning that “a drastic change is needed in the US oil and gas industry”.

Sheikh Rokon, secretary-general of Riverine People moderated the virtual press conference while Dhaka University Professor and convener of BWGED, Dr Maruful Islam, and Janatul Mouwa, Executive Director of Bindu Nari Unnayan Sangathan spoke on the occasion, among others. 

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