Let world know what Bangladesh needs

Posted: ফেব্রুয়ারি 4, 2009 in Climate Change

Danish minister tells The Daily Star to get a truly global deal to fight climate change

Visiting Danish Minister for Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard yesterday said climate change is not a “distant future” and Bangladesh should speak up clearly and loudly to get a truly global deal in Copenhagen in December this year to face the challenge together.

“I think it will be very useful during the negotiations if the situation of countries like Bangladesh could be known by more countries, by more politicians. So, I think, it is very crucial to speak up to convey the messages,” she said.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Star, Hedegaard said she has learnt during her visit to Bangladesh that things are not here in the way they used to be.

“If it is so, then you cannot use the knowledge that you inherited from your mother and your father,” she said. “And that is a real challenge.

“This is the same message I heard last year in west Africa; I heard it in north Thailand, in Greenland,” she said.

That is why it is so important to have adaptation strategies and disseminate the knowledge that is already out there in a more coordinated way, she said, adding that the Bangladesh example of putting climate change in front of national development efforts gives her a strong reason for optimism.

“I promise you that what I learnt here will not stay here in my head. I will let the case of Bangladesh be known to the whole world so that we know why we have to act and why we have to act now,” said Hedegaard.

“It would be possible to face the challenge together as part of the truly global deal if we have truly additional funding for this purposes,” she added.

She said transferring technologies from developed countries to the least developed countries is absolutely crucial so that those who are having development and growths can do it with the best possible technologies instead of old ones in a common interest of all of us.

“That is why the developed countries have to contribute much more,” she stressed.

Asked what she means by a “truly global deal”, Hedegaard said the deal includes setting goals of short, mid and long terms and acting accordingly.

“It is easy to set a target but hard to take care of it. I think global leaders will come up with some targets that they would take care of,” she said.

She also said, “We should also take care of technology transfers, which should be a mechanism built in the deal.”

Asked if she thinks the European Union’s target for reducing emission by 20 percent by 2020 is fair enough, Hedegaard said the EU’s target is so far the most ambitious deal set by any region. The EU has also set to achieve 20 percent renewable energy by 2020.

“Now we need the US to come up with specific suggestions,” she observed. “I noticed that last Monday US President [Barack] Obama promised that the US would now show the international leadership in climate change negotiations. I think that is very crucial.”

When asked about her opinion on whether Obama is really going to make it or not, she said the US president is approaching it in a manner that is “very different” from his previous ones. He is combining bailout packages of economic recovery plans with energy security and energy efficiency and to cope with climate challenge, which is very interesting, she said.

“So, I believe that his vision, counting climate change together with energy efficiency and together with also creating new jobs, is a new way ahead. I think it is good he is seeing this effort as a fight for job creation,” Hedegaard said. “When you focus on renewable energy you create thousands of thousands jobs.”

Regarding the role of developing countries including India and China, Hedegaard said the bargain of developing countries would be one of the important issues in the Copenhagen deal.

“They are not going to reduce the emission as the United States and the EU…On the other hand, we know that two-thirds of all global emission come from those now known as developing countries. So, somehow it is also interesting to all of us, what kind of technologies are going to grow their economies in next many years and that would be part of the issues around the negotiation,” she said.

The daily star 05.02.2009

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